Showing posts with label Collegiality. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Collegiality. Show all posts

Monday, May 23, 2022

Synodality -- A Codeword Under the Magnifying Glass

Jesuit General Pedro Arrupe, Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini and Pope Francis, a way to "complete" Vatican II.

(Rome) “Synodality” is a keyword of Pope Francis' pontificate.  At first, even inveterate Vaticanists thought it was a lapse when the new pope used this hitherto unknown word.  Even the Vatican press office believed he meant “collegiality,” a term not found in any document of Vatican II but which became a progressive code word in the post-Conciliar period.  However, Francis stuck to his neologism.  Only after a delay did the Catholic world begin to realize that the Argentine Pope was referring to far-reaching changes intended to give the Church a “new face”. wrote in November 2018: "From Martini's collegiality to Bergoglio's synodality".  In fact, there is an inner connection.  The two terms are in line, the latter, however, as a further development of the former.

From Martini's collegiality to Bergoglio's synodality

Collegiality was a key word of Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini (1927-2012), Archbishop of Milan from 1979 to 2002, President of the Council of European Bishops' Conferences and a Jesuit like Bergoglio.  For almost 20 years, Martini was the spiritus rector of the secret group of Sankt Gallen, an association of the highest progressive churchmen to sabotage the pontificate of John Paul II and install a successor they liked.  The extended arm of this group became active in 2013 as Team Bergoglio.  Next August 31st marks the tenth anniversary of Martini's death.  It was he who vigorously called for the immediate resignation of Benedict XVI. behind closed doors in June 2012.  A few months later when Martini had died in the meantime, the German Pope, actually and surprisingly did exactly that.

In the 2005 conclave, Martini himself had hopes for the papal throne, but had to recognize his hopelessness for this cause.  He then brought Cardinal Bergoglio into play to at least prevent the election of Benedict XVI.

Martini and Bergoglio, although both members of the Society of Jesus, did not really see each other, mainly for personal reasons.  Martini came from a completely different social environment and was intellectually superior to the Argentine - and was himself convinced of it.  However, both had one thing in common: They had been protégés of the same man, Jesuit General Pedro Arrupe, who led the order from 1965 to 1981/83 and revolutionized it to his detriment.

Martini was the declared opponent of two popes, John Paul II and Benedict XVI.  The cardinal already saw himself in the antechamber to the papal throne, which is why, in a coquettish play on words, he did not describe himself as anti-pope, but as ante-pope.  The allusion was explicit nonetheless.  Although Martini did not make it to the papacy in 2005, his self-assessment proved to be true, albeit in a slightly different sense: he became the ante-pope, the one who preceded the pope of his election.  A few months after his death, this wish was granted in the 2013 conclave.  Avvenire, the daily newspaper of the Italian bishops, headlined three days ago, May 17, that Martini "anticipated Pope Francis".  In fact, it was Martini who was the first to say that God was "not Catholic."  On this point, too, in his first, spectacular interview with Eugenio Scalfari for La Repubblica in autumn 2013, Francis was already following a predetermined path.

Synodality is taking shape

In the fall of 2014, “synodality” began to take shape with the first Family Synod taking place.  It quickly became apparent that the wind had turned.  The rules of the Synod have been changed.  The Pope emphasized “free speech”.  But that was only a sham for the public.  In reality, what only few noticed, the synod was trimmed down to the last detail by the papal direction for a specific result.  Opposing opinions were obstructed and hidden from the outside world.

Was that the "synodality" Francis meant?  Just an optical illusion, but in reality a well-crafted instrument of power to enforce his line?  Observers of Church events tried to understand.  But Francis is rooted in leftist thinking because of his formation through people and ideas.  It is therefore about structural changes.

On September 18, 2018, the Vatican published the Apostolic Constitution Episcopalis Communio signed by Francis three days earlier.  A document of almost explosive scope, which, however, received little attention and has not yet been applied.  So far, the synod of bishops introduced in 1965 by Pope Paul VI.  was only advisory in character.  Since Episcopalis Communio, they can also have magisterial authority.  Pope Francis stated in article 18 of the new constitution regarding the final report of the synod:

 "If expressly approved by the Pope, the final document is part of the ordinary magisterium of the successor of Peter."

 “Should the Pope give the synodal assembly decision-making authority in accordance with can.  343 of the Code of Canon Law, the final document, once ratified and promulgated by him, is part of the ordinary magisterium of the successor of Peter.”

The approach is reminiscent of the EU as revealed by then EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker:

 “We decide something, then put it out there and wait a while to see what happens.  If there is no big shouting and no riots because most people do not understand what has been decided, then we will continue - step by step until there is no turning back."

An advisory body became (if necessary) a decision-making body.  At the same time, Pope Francis stressed suspiciously often that he didn't want to change anything, just initiate processes - albeit irreversible ones if possible.

In this sense, Episcopalis Communio  became a legal norm in reserve, for the right moment.  It can be applied at any time.

The next step

Meanwhile, on March 19, 2022, the next step was taken with the Apostolic Constitution, Praedicare Evangelium.  In the course of the reorganization of the Roman Curia and the associated redistribution of responsibilities, two words have been omitted.  A little thing that is easy to overlook at first glance – a supposed little thing.  This constitution, with which the curial reform was implemented, which Francis had declared to be one of the main concerns of his pontificate and which had been demanded for years and decades, above all by progressive Church circles, ultimately went down almost “modestly” on the stage.  But the devil is known to be in the details.  Who likes to read laws and rules of procedure?  In addition, this central constitution for the reorganization of the Roman Curia is only available in Italian to this day.

The change?  Instead of the "synod of bishops", as it was called in the Italian documents, Praedicare Evaelium only speaks of "synod".  This opened the way to an undefined, broader understanding of the synod, which is completely foreign to the Orthodox Church and has hitherto been in the Catholic Church.  With exceptions.  In the German-speaking world, experiments were carried out in the 1970s in the sense of a Protestant synod understanding, above all the Würzburg Synod 1971-1975, which were then stopped by John Paul II.  With the "Synodal Path", the German Bishops' Conference is making another attempt, with the expected catastrophic consequences.

The difference?  Not only do bishops meet and are entitled to vote, but also lay people.  The Protestant understanding of "assembly" is carried over to the leadership level of the Church.

This coincides with another, no less drastic innovation by Praedicare Evangelium.  Authority no longer derives from the consecration of a bishop, but from the missio canonica, the ecclesiastical commission.  This is a double axis shift, down and sideways.  Every priest, every theology professor and every religion teacher is equipped with one.  Everyone can also lead the highest curia office and everyone can participate in synods and be entitled to vote.

Both changes show the intention of reorganizing the hierarchical constitution of the Church in the sense of Protestant and democratic elements.  However, this affects the nature of the Church.  According to the zeitgeist, everything has to be inclusive.

 The "Synodal Church"

If the Church is "synodal" - Francis repeatedly spoke of a "synodal church" - then this implies that the synod is the central element of that church.  Initially, some thought that Francis wanted to weaken the papacy in favor of a collegial governing body of bishops like the Holy Synod known to the Orthodox Church.  However, Francis thinks far beyond that.

In papal circles, synodality was already defined as a state of "permanent synod".  The power of governance would pass to a permanent synod, which would be a kind of inclusive parliament, using Episcopalis Communio.  This idea of ​​a "permanent synod" also goes back to Cardinal Martini, to which Cardinal Michael Czerny, also a Jesuit and close confidante of Pope Francis, referred with satisfaction on Monday in Milan.  The occasion was the presentation of Martini's collected works, which are published by the Bompiani publishing house of the foundation named after Martini.

In April 2019, Francis was supported by the Council of Cardinals he created to introduce “synodality” at all levels and admit women to all positions of leadership.  This practice of gender equality hides the fact that the question is not about women or men, but about clerics or lay people and about bishops or non-bishops.  The noticeable suppression of the sacrament of Holy Orders and the ministry of Peter under Francis shines through.  The latter seems paradoxical, since Francis' rule is more authoritarian than any of his immediate predecessors.

Francis goes the way there by convening ordinary and extraordinary synods, double synods, preliminary synods, recommending state synods and also multi-year synods, such as the bishops’ synod on synodality, the so-called “synod synod”, which lasts until 2023.

The synod as a workshop for experiments

It is known that Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, prior to his election as Pope, was displeased with Roman interventions, corrections, additions and deletions in synodal documents.  Some suspect that he therefore resorted to the unusual means of having all paragraphs of the working paper published, including those that did not win a two-thirds majority.  All were published at his behest, along with the respective voting results.  An approach that was not without criticism, as some recognized the promotion of a polarization that contradicts the synod principle of community and unity practiced up to now.

The polarization was exacerbated by Francis with the convening of the Amazon Synod, which took place in October 2019, and the circumstances in which it came about and its one-sided, little-confidence-inspiring preparation.  Overall, at no point was the Amazon Synod geared toward consensus, but rather a largely one-sided event by a particular segment of the Church.  The accusation was therefore voiced early on that the synod was not intended to solve problems at all, but to promote a certain progressive agenda.

Francis pulled the handbrake at the last moment.  How this came about is not entirely clear.  The fact is that Cardinal Robert Sarah, together with Benedict XVI.  published a plea for celibacy and the priesthood, to the great annoyance of Santa Marta.  After Francis had nurtured expectations in the above-mentioned circles for years to abolish celibacy for priests and to open the priesthood to lay people, especially women, a bitter disappointment followed for them.  Approval for his pontificate has continued to decline since then.

It became clear to everyone that synodality is actually not a synonym for collegiality, that Pope Francis rather regards synodality as a workshop for experiments, even at the expense of collegiality.  In doing so, he pays close attention to sounding out how far he can go without exposing himself to great resistance and even more serious accusations of heterodoxy.  Francis acts deliberately and strategically.

However, his person is to be distinguished from the structural changes that he undertook through the two constitutions Epicopalis Communio and Praedicare Evangelium.  A successor could see things differently and apply the possibilities opened up by Francis more radically.  The conditions for this were created by the Argentine Pope.

Synod final report without vote and German special way

Speaking of a two-thirds majority: So far, in the case of synods of bishops, which are a product of the Second Vatican Council and take place every three years, that is only forwarded to the pope for his post-synodal letter that can be based on the approval of at least two-thirds of the synod fathers, has been the rule.  The completely different practice of Francis is not without consequences.  Cardinal Mario Grech, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops since 2020, demanded that the final document of the Synod of Bishops should come about according to new rules, i.e. without a final vote.  All paragraphs should be sent to the bishops' conferences, whose amendments will be obtained and only then published.

Cardinal Grech was previously Bishop of Gozo (Malta) and a particularly ardent supporter of Pope Francis.  He made a name for himself in Santa Marta in 2016 with the implementation of the controversial post-synodal document Amoris Laetitia.

And as on other points, Francis' pontificate means support for the German "Sonderweg" [German Special Way].  It is no coincidence that two of the four cardinals of the so-called Bergoglio team, which organized his election to the papacy, came from the Federal Republic of Germany.  It appears that there was agreement among them on the essential points in the run-up to the conclave.  In all steps taken by the majority of the German Bishops' Conference in the direction of their "revolution", they use doors that Francis previously opened, whether to the homosexual agenda, intercommunion or "synodality".

 That is exactly what Francis wants.  He initiates and expects others to pass the ball on.  But he wants to keep control of the game, which is a trait of his character.  In this respect, things do not always run smoothly between him and the German progressives, who have a firm stranglehold on the Church in the German-speaking world.

 The “synodal path” in Germany, like the state synods in Ireland and Australia, go back to Francis.  In Italy, the pope even loudly called for a synod in March 2019 because he was dissatisfied with developments.

He opened Pandora's box and initiated a "trial" with unforeseeable consequences because each of these Bergoglian synods represents a potential threat to the unity of the Church, the German one in particular. 

And as always, Francis is holding back, hardly appears to the outside world and does not interfere.  This is based on a Hegelian principle.

The same path leads from Martini's collegiality to Bergoglio's synodality.  It is about the "completion" of the Second Vatican Council, as implemented by the Jesuits in the spirit of Pedro Arrupe.

 Cardinal Michael Czerny SJ put it this way on May 16:

 “Cardinal Martini was a prophet.  His visions foreshadowed avenues in the Church.”

It is Pope Francis who is walking these paths.  Martini, Czerny, "did what the Council demanded of him".

 Text: Giuseppe Nardi

 Image: Wikicommons/MiL

Trans: Tancred


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Cardinal Robert Sarah -- Assigned by the Pope and Isolated at The Same Time

Cardinal Robert Sarah, Appointed by the Pope
\and isolated at the same time
(Rome) On October 28, the Vatican announced the appointment of 27 new members of the Roman Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.It's an intervention that shifts the internal equilibria, and that is exactly what is intended. It was not said who which members were confirmed previously by the pope, including known names from the pontificate of Benedict XVI. Now there is clarity.
It is thanks to the Vaticanist Sandro Magister, who has made the effort to understand the extent of "renewal".The circle of the newcomers does not show a uniform manuscript, but points in a particular direction.

The newly apppointed

Francis' new members are:
  • Rainer Maria Woelki, Archbishop of Cologne
  • John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja (Nigeria)
  • Pietro Parolin, Cardinal Secretary
  • Gérald Cyprien Lacroix, Archbishop of Québec (Canada)
  • Philippe Nakellentuba Ouédraogo, Archbishop of Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso)
  • John Atcherley Dew, Archbishop of Wellington (New Zealand)
  • Ricardo Blázquez Pérez, Archbishop of Valladolid (Spain)
  • Arlindo Gomes Furtado, Archbishop of Santiago de Cabo Verde (Cape Verde Islands)
  • Gianfranco Ravasi, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture
  • Beniamino Stella, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy
  • Dominic Jala, Archbishop of Shillong (India)
  • Domenico Sorrentino, Archbishop of Assisi-Nocera Umbra-Gualdo Tadino (Italy)
  • Denis James Hart, Archbishop of Melbourne (Australia)
  • Piero Marini, Archbishop and President of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses
  • Bernard Nicolas Aubertin, Archbishop of Tours (France)
  • Romulo G. Valles, Archbishop of Davao (Philippines)
  • Lorenzo Voltolini Esti, Archbishop of Portoviejo (Ecuador)
  • Arthur Joseph Serratelli, Bishop of Paterson (USA)
  • Alan Stephen Hopes, Bishop of East Anglia (Great Britain)
  • Claudio Maniago, Bishop of Castellaneta (Italy)
  • Bernt Ivar Eidsvig, Bishop of Oslo (Norway)
  • Miguel Ángel D'Annibale, Bishop of Rio Gallegos (Argentina)
  • José Manuel Garcia Cordeiro, Bishop of Bragança Miranda (Portugal)
  • Charles Morerod, Bishop of Lausanne, Geneva and Friborg (Switzerland)
  • Jean Pierre Kwambamba Masi, Auxiliary Bishop of Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
  • Benny Mario Travas, Bishop of Multan (Pakistan)
  • John Bosco Chang Shin Ho, Auxiliary Bishop of Daegu (Korea).

The non-confirmed

The Vaticanist Sandro Magister researched the names of former members who were not confirmed by Francis:
  • Norberto Cardinal Rivera, Archbishop of Mexico City
  • Zenon Grochowevsky, em. Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education
  • Angelo Cardinal Scola, Archbishop of Milan
  • Geoge Cardinal Pell, Prefect of the economic secretariat
  • Marc Cardinal Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for the Bishops
  • Oswald Cardinal Gracias, Archbishop of Mumbai
  • Angelo Cardinal Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes and Saints
  • Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Order of Malta
  • Mauro Cardinal Piacenza, Grand Penitentiary
  • Mario Oliveri, Emeritus Bishop of Albenga-Imperia
Almost all of them are known Ratzingerians, or were in conflict with Pope Francis. Usually both are true. The Cardinals Piacenza and Burke were dismissed in 2013 and 2014 as heads of dicastries. In replacing the head of the dicastry by Cardinal Grocholewski,, Bergoglio appointed his former ghostwriter in 2011, Victor Manuel Fernandez, who was rector of the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina. Sparks flew between Cardinal Rivera, Primate of Mexico, and the pope in Mexico during the Pope's visit and even now with the appearance of the new apostolic nuncio in the conflict over the legalization of "gay marriage". Sawing the legs of the chair of Cardinal Pell in papal circles has been going on for quite some time . The Cardinals Scola, Ouellet and Amato seem to be already scheduled for the replacement. Pope Francis did not confirm the Emeritus Bishop Mario Oliveri of Albenga-Imperia, as expected.
Only two, Archbishop Michel-Marie-Bernard Calvet of Nouméa in New Caledonia and Bishop Julián López Martín of León were confirmed among the Archbishops and Bishops, who were previously members of the Congregation, but nine were not.

Archbishop Piero Marini and Cardinal Stella as "Watchers"

In the Vatican, it is denied that the reformation of the Congregation had taken place to "discipline" its Prefect, Cardinal Robert Sarah. The talk is of "necessary adjustments". The reality looks different. "Cardinal Prefects Sarah has not been given," said the Vaticanist, Sandro Magister, "the supporters of the reform he had hoped for." What was meant actually is the reform of the post-Conciliar liturgical reform of 1969/1970.
The new appointment of the Congregation was by no means accidental, after Cardinal Sarah had come out with the public demand for a "reform of the liturgical form". Before the summer break, he asked all the priests worldwide to go back to celebrating Mass facing the East, and cited the coming First Advent Sunday as a suitable deadline to implement this change. The Vatican denied changes to the liturgy, but the Cardinal insisted. Among other "unfriendliness" was the reorganization of the Congregation at the end of October.
Albert Cardinal Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo (Sri Lanka), who was himself secretary of the Congregation for several years, is among the "survivors" on the side of Cardinal Sarah. The friend of the traditional rite has a solid liturgical education. He speaks fluent English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and also speaks the ancient Greek and Latin languages. The Cardinal seems to have impressed Pope Francis during his visit to Sri Lanka in January 2015.
More important, however, are the "watchers" placed aside the cardinal. This obviously applies to Beniamino Stella, who is not a liturgist, but a close confidant of the Pope. The same is true for the Bugnini student, Piero Marini, who is, however, a proven expert. The co-architect of the post-conciliar liturgical form is regarded as a decisive opponent of a recovery of the traditional form of the Roman rite. 

The Confirmed

The names of all the cardinals and bishops who were confirmed as members:
  • Peter Cardinal Erdö, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest
  • Juan Luis Cardinal Cipriani Thorne, Archbishop of Lima
  • Jean-Pierre Cardinal Ricard, Archbishop of Bordeaux
  • Angelo Cardinal Bagnasco, Archbishop of Genoa
  • Kazimierz Cardinal Nycz, Archbishop of Warsaw
  • Albert Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo
  • Dominique Cardinal Mamberti, prefect of the apostolic signature
  • Michel-Marie-Bernard Calvet, Archbishop of Nouméa (New Caledonia)
  • Julián López Martín, Bishop of León (Spain)
The General Assembly of the Congregation, together with Cardinal Prefect Robert Sarah and Secretary Archbishop Arthur Roche, now has a total of 38 members, eight more than before. More than 70 percent were newly appointed.
The first phase of the reconstruction of the Congregation had already taken place in the summer and autumn of 2014 when Pope Francis returned the then Prefect of the Congregation, the "Little Ratzinger" Antonio Cardinal Cañizares as Archbishop of Valencia to Spain, for construction in the Dicasterium. All advocates of a "reform of reform" were replaced by liturgists of the cut of a Piero Marini. When Cardinal Sarah was appointed as new Prefect on 24 November 2014 and took office soon afterwards, he was already isolated from the Congregation of Worship. In the words of Magister,
"Cardinal Sarah is condemned to lead offices that work against him."
This should also explain his change of strategy, to be heard in other ways, especially through his books. In recent his book "La Force du silence " (The Power of Silence), which was published on 6 October in France, he reaffirms in the face of Vatican denials whether by announcement, desire or prophecy that the "reform of the reform" would take place.
Pope Francis and his circle seem to have understood the words as a threat. Three weeks later, phase two was carried out in the reorganization of the Congregation.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Sacra Liturgia (Screenshot)
Trans: Tancred
Link to Katholisches...

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

SSPX Reaffirms its Wish to Continue to Criticize Vatican II and the New Mass

Edit: The Society of St. Pius X and its Superior, Bishop Bernard Fellay, are reconfirming their allegiance to the spiritual legacy of their founder Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in their willingness to continue reaffirming the timeless traditions and dogmas of the Church and resisting those things which they say are inconsistent with it, like Religious Liberty, False Ecumenism and Collegiality. Bishop Fellay also identifies two Romes, which may as well refer to two parties working against each other during the discussions on the side of Rome.

The following letter, which comes from DICI, the Society of St. Pius X’s website, is going to reiterate the Society’s notion that the agreement they were expected, but not prepared, to sign is not something which they can accept. If you recall, the Society was being prepared to be brought into the official structure of the Church without the rigid and draconian restrictions on their religious liberty. As of present date, the CDF and the parities who have drafted the most recent Preamble for their signature, demand a level of obedience they expect from no other part of the Church at present date. We don’t know what this means, or if this is going to be accepted by those responsible in the Vatican for this reconciliation. Here’s an excerpt of the letter from Bishop Fellay:

Letter to Friends and Benefactors (April 2013)


Dear Friends and Benefactors,

It has been quite a long time now that this letter has kept you waiting, and it is with joy, in this Easter season, that we would like to take our bearings and to present a few reflections on the situation of the Church.

As you know, the Society found itself in a delicate position during most of the year 2012, following the final approach of Benedict XVI in attempting to normalize our situation. The difficulties resulted, on the one hand, from requirements that accompanied the Roman proposal—to which we could not and still cannot subscribe—and, on the other hand, from a lack of clarity on the part of the Holy See that did not allow us to know precisely the will of the Holy Father or what he was ready to concede to us. The trouble caused by these uncertainties vanished as of June 13, 2012, with a clear confirmation, on the 30th of the same month, by a letter from Benedict XVI himself clearly and unambiguously spelling out the conditions that were being imposed on us for a canonical normalization.

These conditions are of a doctrinal nature; they entail the total acceptance of the Second Vatican Council and of the Mass of Paul VI. And so, as Archbishop Augustine Di Noia, Vice President of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, wrote in a letter addressed to the members of the Society of Saint Pius X at the end of last year, on the doctrinal level we are still at the point where we started out in the 1970’s. Unfortunately we can only agree with this observation by the Roman authorities and acknowledge the current relevance of the analysis by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, founder of our Society, which was unwavering in the decades following the Council, until his death. His very accurate insight, which is at the same time theological and practical, is still valid today, fifty years after the start of the Council.

And also:

“Compelled by the facts, it is necessary to conclude that the Council has favored, inconceivably, the diffusion of liberal errors. Faith, morals, and ecclesiastical discipline have been shaken to their foundations according to the predictions of all the popes. "

  Link to DICI….

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Kasper: “No Synodal Form of Church Leadership"

Edit: now that there’s been a change of management. Cardinal Kasper feels free reign to speak his mind.
“The world Church can’t be led in a Eurocentric way any more.” This is what the German Curial Cardinal Walter Kasper said in an interview with “Corriere della Sera”, that was published this Sunday. In a “globalized and complex world collegiality is the right direction”, said the former leader of Vatican Ecumenism. It is also important for the Pope, that he governs and has the last word. “But it is important that he has well informed advisors about him, who represent the entire world.” The Curia needs reform, “in order to become more efficient” [Less Catholic, he means.] That Pope Francis has chosen eight Cardinals to advice means “no synodal form of government as it is understood by the Orthodox”, specified Cardinal Kasper.

Link to