In his opening address to the Synod of Bishops on October 7, 2019, Pope Francis warned about “two synods”–the idea that while a synod of bishops takes place in the Synod Hall (Aula del Sinodo), a “synod of the media” takes place concurrently. This second, unofficial synod is the public, often vitriolic, ideology-fueled discussion that takes place in the public square, on social media, and in publications and blogs (including this one). This media synod is often completely disconnected from the discussions taking place between bishops and other Church leaders in the aula, is highly emotional, has completely different priorities, and is fixated on just a handful of highly-charged issues.

In the conclusion of the address, Francis described the two synods as the “inside synod” and the “outside synod,” warning that imprudently spreading false information can have a deleterious effect on the outcome of a synod:

A process such as a synod can be somewhat ruined if, when I exit the hall, I can say what I think, voice my opinion. And then there will be that feature that I saw at several synods: that of the “inside synod” and the “outside synod”. The inside synod which follows the journey of Mother Church, the synod of attention to processes; and the outside synod which, because information given with levity, communicated with imprudence, leads those who have the duty to inform, to misinform.

Thus, thank you for what you are doing. Thank you because you prayed for one another, and take courage. And, please, let us not lose our sense of humour. Thank you.

We might recall the Outside Synod’s work during the 2014 and 2015 synods on the family, and how bishop and cardinal participants formed ideology-based tribes, granting interviews to favored outlets or reporters, and using the space outside the synod hall to advance personal agendas and focus on particular issues. Among those who follow these synods, who can forget the leaked letter from 13 cardinals, or the drama of how copies of a book written by a group of conservative cardinals were allegedly snatched from the mailboxes of synod participants?

Even more memorable were the statements from participants such as Cardinal Burke, who seemed to give interviews almost daily during the 2014 synod. With each passing day, he would stoke the fires of fear and suspicion, with statements along the lines of,

We see a worrisome skewing of the discussions, because there are some who support the possibility of adopting a practice that departs from the truth of the faith. Even if it should be evident that one cannot go down that path, many still encourage, for example, a dangerous openness to change with respect to the question of giving Holy Communion to those divorced and remarried.

Indeed, despite the fact that the Synods on the Family and the resulting exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, dove deeply into many aspects of family life, including the theology of marriage, the challenges facing families today, the care of children and bringing them up in the faith, and the need to improve the preparation of engaged couples, the Outside Synod reduced all this work to four issues:

  • the possibility of sacraments for those in irregular marriages (including civil remarriages),
  • the possibility of sacraments for non-Catholic spouses,
  • the possible “softening” of Church teaching on homosexuality and same-sex relationships,
  • and the potential undermining of the Church’s teaching on artificial contraception.

Of these four issues, the only one that was even remotely part of the final outcome was the first, via the inclusion of a single footnote (351) in Amoris Laetitia. Francis carved out a very nuanced set of guidelines for discernment that included the possibility of admitting some of those in irregular situations to the sacraments in exceptional situations. The traditional Catholic teachings regarding the other three issues are affirmed clearly in paragraphs 247 (non-Catholic spouses receiving sacraments), 251 (homosexuality), and 80 (contraception). Nevertheless, those who only followed the Outside Synod thought the entire world had caved in.

Similarly, those who are following the 2019 Outside Synod on the Amazon seem to be focused on three main issues:

  • The “abolition” of priestly celibacy,
  • The ordination of women to the diaconate,
  • The introduction of idolatrous, paganistic, pantheistic, and even satanic worship and practices into the Church with the full approval of the pope and the hierarchy, thus leading the Church into an unprecedented crisis of doctrine, schism, and heresy–and perhaps ushering in the apocalypse and the end of days.

If you think I’m being hyperbolic about issue #3, you haven’t spent much time on Catholic Twitter or reading reactionary websites, and I envy you.

I’ll just briefly touch on the first two issues. A serious issue that has been raised in the lead-up to the synod is that due to the remoteness of some of the indigenous Catholic communities in the Amazon, many of them rarely see a priest. As a result, these communities lack access to the sacraments. Additionally, within these communities, there are few Catholic leaders in these groups with formal recognition by the Church. The lack of any stable, official Catholic leadership leaves these groups with little connection to the universal Church for much of the year. Austen Ivereigh explained the situation well recently in Commonweal:

Most Amazonian native peoples live not in parishes but in remote village-size communities with strong social structures. Religious life is entrusted to the community’s leaders; they are likely to be the catechists and “animators” of the local church. A missionary priest might pass through once or twice a year, to celebrate Mass and hear confessions, which is a cause for great celebration. But the rest of the time, in their gathering round the Word alone, the Catholic Amazonians look indistinguishable from Evangelicals. All too often priests arrive to find that the whole village leadership has succumbed to what a synod father has described as “the dizzying proliferation of Pentecostal churches.” Nowadays these are likely to be powerful megachurches that proselytize aggressively and preach a version of the Prosperity Gospel.

What the ordination of well-respected, devout, Catholic married men (frequently referred to as the viri probati), and the establishment of a formal ministerial role or title for women leaders in these communities do is help create stable Catholic communities in regions where missionaries and priests are few and far between. I think it’s unfortunate that the debate about women’s ordination has been inserted into this dialogue, because it distracts from a very real need for the recognition of a formally recognized ministry for the women who play crucial leadership roles in these communities. I plan to write about this at length in the near future.

Issue #3, however, has dominated the deliberations of the Outside Synod, even here at Where Peter Is. Within minutes of the completion of a St. Francis day prayer service and tree planting ceremony, the reactionary media seemingly lost their minds and made a small wooden figure the focus of their outrage. I needn’t rehash the entire issue (you can read about it here, here, here, here, and here).

For three weeks, it seemed that the Outside Synod was reduced to a competition to prove whether the statue was an artistic cultural expression of Our Lady or a pagan demonic idol that the indigenous people worship. “Team Mary” scored a point when the woman who presented the statue to the pope called her “Our Lady of the Amazon.” “Team Pachamama” claimed a point when the non-Catholic indigenous guest of a conference hosted by the radical traditionalist group Tradition, Family, Property asserted that it was definitely idol worship. Another point went to Team Mary when a 2018 video emerged where the statue was clearly used as a representation of Mary in a video about the Annunciation, reminiscent of the Magnificat. Both teams claimed victory (or confusion) each time a Vatican or Synod representative gave a vague answer suggesting the figure means “life” or “fertility.”

Finally, at the break of dawn on Monday of this week, two or three thieves entered the Roman Church where the figures were displayed, stole them, and chucked them into the Tiber River.

The Outside Synod has officially become a circus.

Liz Dodd wrote an astounding piece in the aftermath of this crime. I recommend that you read it all, but her conclusion struck me:

Symbols, saints, icons, statues, paintings, medallions, even Our Lady, are not God. They point us towards God and help us to communicate with him. Our Lady of the Amazon may not look like Our Lady of Lourdes, the Black Madonna, or Our Lady of Guadalupe, but she points the Catholics who brought her to Rome towards her son. I cannot imagine how it must feel for them, many thousands of miles from their homes in the Amazon basin, to discover that she was drowned in the Tiber, by the very people who claim to be their brothers and sisters.

Pope Francis often speaks of a listening Church, but those who support these actions apparently prefer a shouting, sneering, mocking Church, one who drives away those its members claim to love. Radical reactionary traditionalism is cancer in our Church, and this tumor seeks to metastasize and drive out all the love, virtue, and humility upon which our Faith is based. We aren’t certain who perpetuated this crime, but whoever did it was most certainly influenced by the angry voices of disinformation and violence on social media.

Francis knew this was coming. He knew that there were ideologues lying in wait, looking for opportunities to destroy, divide, and promote dangerous ideologies. During his opening address, he warned:

Ideologies are a dangerous weapon; we always have the tendency to latch on to an ideology in order to interpret a people. Ideologies are reductive and lead us to exaggeration in our claim to comprehend intellectually, but without accepting, comprehending without admiring, comprehending without assimilating. So reality is understood in categories, and the more common ones are the categories of “-isms”. Thus, when we have to approach the reality of a certain indigenous people, we speak of indigenisms, and when we wish to propose a way to a better life, we do not ask them about it; we talk about developmentalism. These “-isms” reformulate life starting from the illuminated and the illuminist laboratory.

I pray that this doesn’t escalate into real threats or acts of violence. I’m not the only one who has seen the similarities between the voices of the Outside Synod and the “Pizzagate” controversy that culminated in a man driving to Washington, DC with a loaded rifle and firing three shots inside a pizza parlor. Could someone be driven to violence against the pope due to this insanity? It’s not outside the realm of possibility.

One positive we can draw from this entire fiasco is the total disconnect between what is going on in the Outside Synod and the real synod, the Inside Synod. Earlier this week, the language groups submitted their final reports, and the final synod document has been submitted to the participants for final review. They should be voting on the various proposals tomorrow and/or Saturday and they will present their completed document to Pope Francis for his consideration.

In his address, Francis spoke about the purpose of the synod, and I believe the synod participants have stuck to this vision:

We have come here to contemplate, to comprehend, to serve the peoples. And we do so by taking a synodal path; we do so as a synod, not at round tables, not in conferences and further discussions: we do so as a synod, because a synod is not a parliament; it is not a parlour; it is not demonstrating who has more power in the media and who has more power on the web, in order to impose some idea or some plan.

Let us pray for the Holy Father, for the outcome of the synod, and most especially for the people of the Amazon region. Let us pray that this synod results in positive changes and greater understanding in the Church. Let us pray for a deepening of the faith and evangelization for all Catholics. Let us pray for our Common Home, and all who inhabit it.

 

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  1. carn says:

    “This media synod is often completely disconnected from the discussions taking place between bishops and other Church leaders in the aula, is highly emotional, has completely different priorities, and is fixated on just a handful of highly-charged issues.

    In the conclusion of the address, Francis described the two synods as the “inside synod” and the “outside synod,” warning that imprudently spreading false information can have a deleterious effect on the outcome of a synod:”

    Many organizations face the threat of dissonance between internal state of affairs and external discussion/perception of the organization. It can be very unfair for organizations. For the Church it is probably worse.

    But there is one thing any organization can do to at least reduce the impact a bit:

    Have.

    A.

    COMPETENT.

    PR Team.

    That.

    Does.

    WATCH.

    The.

    Usual.

    Suspects.

    Such a PR team would in case of Synod for example be nearly the FIRST to read ANY new post on LSN, Church Militant, etc., then assess the danger and gather information and then decide on if and how to react.

    Such a competent team would have been on high alert minutes after the “opposition” “lost their minds”: “Within minutes of the completion of a St. Francis day prayer service and tree planting ceremony, the reactionary media seemingly lost their minds and made a small wooden figure the focus of their outrage.”

    And that is especially true, due to this not being the first time and expected.

    See it this way:

    What you people here at WPI try to do without budget and in your spare time, should have been done in the Vatican by full-time people.

    “Francis knew this was coming.”

    Remind me again, in what way I am allowed to form an opinion about whether the Pope acted wisely and competent?

    If you know that some crucial event is ahead and that media crossfire is to be expected, you prepare, for example by ensuring you have competent PR team. Otherwise, you made a serious mistake, especially if it is not the first time.

    • Mike Lewis says:

      Carn, I agree with you somewhat.

      Part of the reason this site exists is because of many Catholics’ dissatisfaction with the answers given by the Vatican during this papacy. That said, after a while, shouldn’t the pattern of getting outraged in the exact same way about everything the Vatican does die down?

      I mean, how many Scalfari articles need to be written before expectations are going to change?

      With this papacy, the events and the responses have become rather predictable? At some point, shouldn’t someone take a step back and develop realistic expectations for what the Vatican will or won’t “clarify”? Instead, the outrage is becoming more and more hysterical.

      Being an American Catholic, shaped largely in my faith by many of the people attacking Francis from the right today, I get your point. Yes, it would be nice if the Vatican had a sensitivity to what DW Lafferty recently called “reified Catholicism.” Someone who could slow things down and help to explain Francis in terms they can understand. That said, they have also decided to shoot the messenger. I will never forgot the personal attacks, mockery, and spiritual abuse directed at Stephen Walford when he was the public face of defense for the Holy Father.

      There are some people who legitimately want answers, and want to be charitable to the pope. But there are others who are out for blood.

      • Mary Angelica says:

        There are a few things to consider here…

        The first is that we need some kind of working hermeneutic to understand Francis’ statements under a certain medium. For example, his airplane interviews have quite the doozies in terms of provocative statements. As such I don’t take the statements the most seriously as stated, because they are the words of a man who is thinking as (sometimes after) he speaks. I would hope that people don’t try to disect in a lawyerly way my conversational statements.

        However, Francis’ documents seem like an odd mixture of imprecise language in terms of established theological terms, but very nuanced propositions otherwise. He also rarely cites texts that aretn’t from the last 50 years or so. In a certain sense, my hermetic here is benn to be lawyerly in ther plain meaning of the texts, without introducing theological concepts that he had not introduced.

        Ther advantage of Francis’ theological language is that it is unconstrained by philosophies masquerading as theology. He can express something merely insightful as a result that may have been implicit in the history of the church but now it’s being explicitly stated. But this is also a major disadvantage (for example. The DP as “per se contrary to the gospel” being confused with ” intrinsically evil” by a lot of people).

        Regarding Walford, two things come in mind. When I read him, my impression was that he was trying to ne faithful, but that his approach actually made things worse for some of the questioning. It felt like trying to explain the doctrine of tripartite aspect of the trinity to a monarchist weary of arianism, but then using pure origenist trinitology to do so. In other words. Walford’s take itself seemed more problematic to me than even AL did when I read it. I had to figure it out for myself over a process that of and on took years. And all this with a degree in theology to begin with.

        That being said, I don’t think he should have had to be the public face of the defense of the pope. He meant well, and he is a smart dude,
        But if I recall, his original trade had nothing to do with theology. That should have been the task of the fellow bishops of the Pope, and if they themselves are confused. It should be possible to set the record straight.

      • Mike Lewis says:

        Prior to his writing about Francis, Walford wrote two books on theological topics, both of which had Forewords by Cardinals and imprimaturs. His book on the communion of saints received glowing praise from none other than Fr Thomas Weinandy.

        Yes, his primary source of income is the piano, but he’s no theological slouch.

        Regarding Francis, well, I don’t know what to say other than I don’t agree with you. This website is my case against your assertions.

      • jong says:

        Mike L.
        If ever you write an article on women ordination. I hope you ponder Ordinatio Sacerdoatalis paragraph#4, the word “discipline” comes to my mind.
        St.JP2 Ordiantio Sacerdotalis is “de fide tenenda” not “de fide credenda”, paragraph#4 stated it is only a mere “disciplinary force”. Can a future Pope soften the “disciplinary force” citing the “signs of times” and the “Time of Mercy”? The Church lacks the authority & power, can the Holy Spirit supply the needed power & authority? Yes. Look at the definitive Dogma “outside the Church there is no salvation”, that Dogma was change into “People of God, the keyword now is “subsist in the Catholic Church”. So, a Dogma can be develop much more a “de fide tenenda” teachings.
        Pope Francis in Amoris L. changes the sacramental discipline, in CCC2267 he consider the social situations, and in the Time of Mercy Pope Francis allowed Holy Communion to those who committed the sin of abortion if they seek the Sacrament of Penance.
        Pope Francis always said the Holy Spirit is the one who is leading the Synod.
        Will the Holy Spirit soften the disciplinary force on the women ordination, seeing the “signs of times” and the “Time of Mercy”?
        I am inclined to see this will happen, for further Church purification as many not fully loyal & obedient to the Pope will leave the Church and the Rad Trads will be noisier.

      • Mary Angelica says:

        Walford might not have been a slouch, but he actually was a stumbling block, specifically for me, rather than a help, though that may not have been the experience of others. I had to avoid reading his stuff on AL precisely in order to understand it and be faithful to the Pope.

        What exactly do you disagree with me regarding Pope Francis?

    • jong says:

      carn
      I don’t agree that a Church needed a good PR man or even a PR Team, why? You will reduced the Church into the hands of intelligent men. The Church is guided by the Holy Spirit and the Vatican spokeperson if they are docile to the voice of the Holy Spirit will speak with prudence. But even if the Vatican spokeperson is not docile, all things good or bad is all subject to Divine Providence. Don’t get the notion that Pope Emeritus BXVI and Pope Francis are not aware of the Media circus in the Rad Trads channel, whose obvious mission is to undermine the Church and paint a bad image of Pope Francis papacy.
      You have to look at the situations using the spiritual sense of the Pope. Since Day1 , Pope Francis had been allowing the Rad Trads channel and the Media to criticize and even feeding them with intentional words that the Rad Trads can twist, spin, and mix with lies. Pope Francis in this Amazon Synod was guided by the Holy Spirit to allow the hatred and works of the Rad Trads channel who usually do not exercise prudence in their writings to be expose again. What is the result, the Rad Trads associated themselves with the “thieves” and nobody among the Vatican spokeperson mentioned the word “false god or pagan idol”, this evil words came from the Rad Trads channel.
      What is the good ending? Pope Francis wisdom prevails because Pope Emeritus BXVI is a great prayer intercessor for the Church and all the evil schemes and tactics of all the Rad Trads channels fall flat in their faces.
      Only their minions rejoices at the work of thieves throwing an art depiction dearly love by the Amazon indigenous people violating God’s commandment “thous shall not steal.”
      The simple question is, who inspire the thieves and who inspire the Rad Trads channel to praise the actions of the thieves, is it the Holy Spirit or Satan the thieves & accuser?

      Remember, Satan is the great accuser in inventing the accusation on “false god or pagan idol” and satan is also a thieve.
      “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John10:10)

  2. Anne Lastman says:

    Thank you Mike a beautifully written summary of the events.
    I have been on team Francis since day one and gave watched in anguish the so called “catholic” cabal attempt to destroy what is supposed to have been a positive move towards helping our brothers and sisters who ate remote from Church as we know it and take for granted.
    I have hoped that s way could be found to remedy the isolation that these brothers and sisters must feel being so far from church and its life AND bring them into communion with us but instead the outside Synod sabotaged as they did the previous Synod on Family.
    And we are supposed to believe that these “learned” individuals are the true catholics or maybe even Remanent. These are the same voices as those who refused Jesus and his Good News. These had the Good News in their midst and missed him because of their obduracy and blindness.

  3. Jessica says:

    I’m also encouraged that the general media has stayed calm. At least, that’s true for Reuters, AP, and my local media (Vancouver BC).

    I’m less encouraged that Taylor Marshall is involved. Online, many Catholicism-curious Protestants are referred to his story as encouragement. I’m worried that this will create a funnel for disillusioned Evangelists to enter Catholicism.

    To be honest, I’m seriously considering a Catholic media blackout. I’m worried that it would contribute to the problem, though, to have one less non-militant voice online.

    • Jessica says:

      On another note, I’m almost dreading the upcoming apostolic exhortation. I bet it’s going to cause a *lot* of life changes on my end. Pope Francis’ exhortations always seem to!

  4. Christopher Lake says:

    Mike,

    Thank you, brother, for this careful, and very thoughtful, article.

    For the last eight years, I have been blessed to be in regular, semi-daily, contact with a wonderful Catholic woman and her Filipino family (by, variously, Skype on video cam, phone calls, cards, gifts mailed to each other, and more).

    This woman, her parents, and many of her siblings live in a fairly isolated region of the Philippines. The internet connections, and even, simply, the *electricity*, where they live, are highly unpredictable, but with caring, patience, and some humor, we have remained in contact for eight years. The isolated village where this family lives only has even a *visit* from a priest once each month. While this woman and most of her family are believing, practicing Catholics, I have sadly learned, from even just what I have seen and heard on Skype video calls with them, that there are so many problems in this village, from depressingly common alcoholism, to gambling by men which can leave their wives and children with little money for food and paying bills, to vicious spousal abuse, and on and on.

    To the people of the “Outside Synod,” here and elsewhere, on blogs and social media, who are raising so many objections to things that they *think* are happening with the “Inside Synod” (real or imagined!):

    Pope Francis and other Church leaders have called this Synod, in large part, to try to find ways, with the grace of the Holy Spirit, to better help Catholics in isolated areas of the Amazon– Catholics much like the Filipino family which has blessed my life (and, I pray, it has been reciprocal), from a very great distance, for eight years. Please, let’s all pray for Catholic families in situations of isolation, deprivation, and physical discomfort that most of us here in the First World can’t even *imagine*– and let’s pray for Pope Francis and the other leaders of the Amazon Synod, who are trying to help them and other people living in the Amazonian countries and regions.

    A few last thoughts for some critics of Pope Francis– if he decides that *some* married men can be ordained priests, in the Amazon, so that Catholics in very isolated areas there, can simply have access to a priest, more than once a month, or once a *year*, I will completely support him. This would not be a changing of Church doctrine or dogma at all. Church discipline is *not* Church doctrine. There is a crucial difference.

  5. Ralph says:

    Thank you for explaining the situation in the Amazon. It is hard not to see the battles within online Catholicism as a product of Western Catholics viewing everything through the lens of their own ideological battles and wanting to impose their own preferences on the rest of the global Church.

    I have a sense that this is going to become an even bigger problem as the gravity of the Church shifts from North America and Europe to the Global South. How many Amazonian Catholics or African Catholics want to rehash battles over Vatican II? It is not going to make either the right or left happy because I have a sense that much of the Church in the developing world has different priorities. In fact, I sometimes think that many ideologues are even out of touch with many Western Catholics too.

  6. Bernadette Reilly says:

    I’m glad I read this article. It promotes calm. I’ve only started reading or listening to the opinions of people like Taylor Marshall and it started to take away all my peace. It filled me with doubt about the church and our Pope Francis. I’m going to keep praying to the Holy Spirit for the church and for my own understanding. I’m going to stay calm and not put myself in a position to be torn apart with doubt and unrest. Thank you

  7. carn says:

    What a mess.

    A prince of the Church who just 2 years and 4 months ago was head of the CDF – the position formally most qualified to determine whether some behavior is in conformity with catholicism or outside, e.g. idolatry – says verbatim and without any limitation (e.g. might/may/possibly/etc.) in a broadcast having a range of 50 million+ catholic households – which is above 1% of Catholics worldwide – that

    IDOLATRY

    took place in a church on the door steps of Vatican by bringing figurines into that church that were used in a ritual in the presence of the

    POPE

    inside Vatican and included prostrating before the figurines, the Pope that made the prince a prince and at least once confirmed him as head of CDF.

    Whatever one thinks of Cardinal Müller’s motives – be they pure and sincere or egoistic and retributive – this is beyond serious.

    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/cardinal-mueller-the-great-mistake-was-to-bring-the-idols-into-the-church-not-to-put-them-out

    ““The great mistake was to bring the idols into the Church,” replies the cardinal, “not to put them out, because according to the Law of God Himself – the First Commandment – idolism [idolatry] is a grave sin and not to mix them with the Christian liturgy.””

    What better motivation for schism than thinking that people in Vatican do not care about the first commandment?

    • Mike Lewis says:

      Yes, iconoclasm has motivated schism throughout the history of the Church. It seems that Cardinal Muller has become one of them.

      I have not yet watched the full interview but I saw the snippet. I also saw his statement endorsing Douglas Farrow’s essay in First Things, which very clearly put forward schismatic ideas.

      I worry about Cardinal Muller and pray for him.

      • carn says:

        Stupid me would organize secretly some group of clergy and theologians with some differing perspectives with job to a) try to unofficially contact Card. Müller and others to communicate about potential solutions; b) offers advice how to maybe reduce the risk of putting further fuel into the fire; c) consider how the hearts of those listening to Müller can be won back without alienating the ones one tried to win with those actions that Müller disliked.

        But I guess people in Vatican have more important things to care about.

    • Jude says:

      I consider that the Vatican is run by politicians and diplomats, globalists and elitists. Some of them may even be Catholic, but where the first commandment falls on their list of priorities would be debatable. The events of this month haven’t helped.

    • jong says:

      carn
      Idolatry definition cannot be apply to the naked statue, look at the definition of an idolatry.
      St.JP2 was accused of idolatry by kissing the Quran, is that idolatry to you?
      Idolatry like the arguments on Amoris L. falls on objective and subjective guilt is the guiding principle.
      Is Pope Francis worshipping the “naked staue”?No!
      Is the Amazon indigenous people worshipping the naked statue as their god?No!
      Is Pope Francis allowing the Amazonian people to express their faith, so that as the Holy Father can know how to teach them to the right expression of faith? Yes!
      Pope Francis principle is a Catholic Christian must walk together in a journey as brothers and sisters, do not proselytize but wear on the “cloak of compassion and mercy”. The Amazonian people would be purified not by pointing their errors but when one experience love and compassion.
      This is the gospel taught by Jesus Christ.

    • Lazarus says:

      Is Saint Pope JP2 in hell by gathering and praying with world religions at Assisi, even placing a statue of Buddha on an altar?

      No matter what excuses a schismatic conjures up for leaving the Church it’s ultimately a lack of trust in Christ and His promises.

  8. carn says:

    LSN offers an English translation:
    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/full-transcript-of-the-popes-comments-on-pagan-pachamama-statues

    “Good afternoon, I would like to say a word about the pachamama statues that were removed from the Church at Traspontina, which were there without idolatrous intentions and were thrown into the Tiber.

    First of all, this happened in Rome and, as bishop of the diocese, I ask pardon of the people who were offended by this act.

    Then, I can inform you that the statues which created so much media clamor were found in the Tiber. The statues are not damaged.

    The Commander of the Carabinieri [Italian police] wished to inform us of the retrieval before the news becomes public. At the moment the news is confidential, and the statues are being kept in the office of the Commander of the Italian Carabinieri.

    The leadership of the Carabinieri will be very happy to follow any indication given on the method of making the news public, and regarding the other initiatives desired in its regard, for example, the commander said, “the display of the statues at the closing Mass of the Synod.” We’ll see.

    I delegate the Secretary of State to respond to this.

    This is good news, thank you.”

    Good, that minor incidents like Pope apologizing for mistreatment of what according to his words seemingly are statues of a pagan goddess.

  9. Manuel Dauvin says:

    WPI, please be careful with this concept of “reified catholicism”. Lafferty delivered an analysis, a perspective: it was a descriptive retrospective “take” on what lead us to where we are. But like all such analysis it is limited…it is horizontal. It can bear fruit if we recognize it as a perspective. ..like a painters rendition of a landscape. Lafferty is a pretty decent artist in that respect.
    What I’m witnessing here though is a reification of the “reified catholicism”. We are “taking and running with it”.
    It is horizontal. I prodded Lafferty for a sequel that found the vertical.
    God works through popes. The fruits are those of the spirit’s work. The Spirit risked “reification” SO THAT Francis and the church could “stoop” to serve from its proper height. Reified catholicism was the Good Shepherd finding that sure foothold in the rockface before he reached out to the list lamb on the shelf skirting the abyss.
    That is the vertical that completes the picture. ..and that causes no mistrust of the spirit’s use of blessed Ratzinger.

  10. Manuel Dauvin says:

    In fact the real illusion that’s drawing the trads into schism is the failure to realize that Francis is a “reified Catholic” bending from that solid perch hovering very securely over a frightening abyss. He’s a what a Trad looks like when they embrace supernatural courage and the mission of evangelization.

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