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Pope Benedict once made the observation that there were two different Vatican II councils, the actual one and the one that the media presented to the world.

It is this ‘spirit of the two V II councils’ that the Shameful Secret Synod ‘schemers’, led by leftists cd. Kasper, Balidisseri and bp. Forte tried to replicate. Even though objectively speaking, the schemer’s position was soundly defeated, and only Francis’s intervention was able to save the Forte produced Relatio post disceptationem from the trash heap of history, non the less, the schemers are not giving up. In fact, it is fair to say that the schemers are trying to “spin” a victory out of a resounding drubbing that they took at the actual Shameful Secret Synod of 2014.

The evidence of this “work in progress” is readily apparent to anyone who looks through the daily catholic media and blogosphere. To the casual observers, it would appear as if cd. Kasper’s “ warm smile, keen intellect and deep commitment to Christian unity, but also for a sense of realism, which does not negate respect for others but is clear about the limits of change possible in the Catholic Church…”(Link here) is everywhere.

And wherever the German cardinal appears, the blunt at times, but always warm, keen and deep message is the same, namely: (link here)

Cardinal Walter Kasper has said bluntly, and in direct opposition to the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), that the rules will shortly be changed to allow divorced and remarried Catholics to be admitted to Holy Communion.

And not only is this the “schemer’s” position, but this position will be a consensus position by the time the Shameful Secret Synod II rolls around in 2015, assures us cd. Kasper. But please dear reader, do not misunderstand the good cardinal. He is not saying that there was not a consensus for the Kasper position in the consensus position of the 2014 Synod. (link here)

The Ordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family, which will take place in October 2015 in connection with the Extraordinary Synod last October will bring a broad consensus “on all points”. The German Cardinal Walter Kasper is convinced of  the voice of approval for the remarried divorcees to communion. Of the same view is also the Italian Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, the President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts . The admirers of the late Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini and the German theologian, know each other well. Coccopalmerio has been a member since 2007 of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity .

Yes folks, the official message is “just wait til next year’s Synod, but please do not infer that there was anything wrong with this year Synod. Besides change is just around the corner, is inevitable and progress marches on. And to demonstrate this “existing/new consensus that exists and is building”, the good cardinal, with his brand spanking new Quasten Medal for Excellence in Scholarship and Leadership in Religious Studies from the Catholic University of America School of Theology and Religious Studies, has “frog marched” out a new member of TeamFrancis, one cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio. Yes folks, it’s more than just a “3 plus 1” man act, this “existing/new consensus”.

And while we are on the subject of this “existing/new consensus”, at a dinner hosted by the Cenacolo di Amici Francesco  (literally translated as the Friends of Francis), an organization that was formed to support the new bishop of Rome after the ascendancy of Francis to the throne of St. Peter (remind anyone of that unofficial network known as the “FOB’s” or “Friends of Bill”, as in Clinton), the good cardinals had this to say:

The Cardinals Walter Kasper and Francesco Coccopalmerio are certain:  a “broad consensus” will be found In the Synod of Bishops in 2015 on the family.

The two Cardinals took part yesterday at an event titled: “With Pope Francis on the Synodal Way of the Family. A Test of the Reform Papacy.” An event  for the “reformers”  themselves For the German Cardinal, Pope Francis  is an “intelligent conservative.”  Invited were the Cenacle of  Friends of Francis (Cenacolo di Amici Francesco), who appeared for the first time in public. The meeting took place in the Catholic Russian Ecumenical Centre in Rome (Centro Russia Ecumenica).

So far so good, but are these observations by the two cardinals grounded in objective reality” or only in the Kasperian “sense of realism” that subsists in the good cardinal’s imagination?

Insights into the objective reality underpinning the “existence or non existance” of the “existing/new consensus” might be inferred from the recent elections at the Italian Bishop’s conference. One of the “schemers”and author of the aberro-sexual passages, bp. Bruno ‘slippery as an eel’ Forte was nominated and ran for the “office of Vice President of the Italian Bishops’ Conference”. And as we know from a previous Deus Ex Machina post (link here), there was NO “existing/new consensus” and the bishop did not do to well.

Yesterday, a post at the Eponymous Flower blog appeared, which gives more insights into the vote and its’ implications. The EF blog has this to say (link here): [with comments and emphasis]

The Archbishop [ Forte] was not so very popular. Besides Forte, Bishop Meini of Fiesole ran for the office of  Vice President. For the more famous Forte, the “duel” should have been  a walk. [ … as in ‘walk in the park’, or a ‘cake walk’] Especially since it is known that he is in the favor of Pope Francis.  No bishop could seriously doubt that what Forte had written in the interim and final report of the Synod, was not approved by the Pope. Nevertheless, it was a different outcome. [Maybe the ‘god of surprises’ intervened?] In the first ballot no candidate reached the intended quorum. In the runoff election [, that] the more famous Forte was being sidelined was  abundantly clear. Only 60 votes were cast for the bustling Archbishop of Chieti-Vasto, but 140 for Bishop Mario Meini of Fiesole. Only 30 per cent for Forte, 70 percent for his challenger but are a smooth result.

And what is the significance of the above lost election. EF explains:

Had the Archbishop wanted to get the office of Vice President [-] and with the favor of the Pope to return as the successor of Cardinal Bagnasco’s  position, the attempt backfired. The electoral defeat makes his papal appointment as chairman of the Bishops’ Conference almost impossible . [ I can picture Francis wheeling out the DEM as I write this. 😉 ]

The result was bad enough for TeamFrancis. But the “up-stream” implication of the defeated Forte candidacy was a direct reflection on the bishop of Rome himself. EF goes on to write:

The president of the Italian Episcopal Conference is  the Pope himself, but he does not exercise this function [directly], but [through] a person of his confidence. The Office is still held by Archbishop Angelo Cardinal Bagnasco of Genoa, whom Benedict XVI appointed. However, the new strong man is Bishop Nunzio Galatino, whom Pope Francis [with the use of his handy DEM] unexpectedly appointed as the new Secretary-General on 23 December 2013. So far, the Secretary General was appointed on the proposal of the President. Cardinal Bagnasco found out about it from the media.

Oh my! If one were to objectively assess the meaning of the “Forte loss”, one could easily and honestly infer that the Italian Bishops’ Conference gave a direct rebuke to the bishop of Rome. Looks like TeamFrancis took one on the chin.

But just because TeamFrancis lost one, does it follow that there is no “existent/new consensus” out in the Catholic heartland, let alone in ultra-progressive circles close to the bishop of Rome? Does this lost election also imply that October [2015] will not bring a broad consensus “on all points”, and the narrative that TeamFrancis is pushing is not reality based? TeamFrancis members surely must be motivated for mobilizing the forces of progress that will push through this “existent/new consensus on all points” at the Secret Synod 2015?

For an insight into the answers to the above posed questions, let us return to the “Friends of Francis” function mentioned earlier, the function at which the new member of TeamFrancis, one cd. Francesco Coccopalmerio was introduced “for the first time”. Over at Fr. Z’s blog, this post appears (link here). In the linked post, Fr. Z translates a passage from the Italian La Nuova Bussola.

The below passage provides some “color” into the FOF function and the level of motivation behind the TeamFrancis efforts. I will reproduce in Italian and then run the main passage through google translate. La Nuova Bussola writes:

Dal blog Rossoporpora.org curato dal vaticanista Giuseppe Rusconi, veniamo a sapere dell’esistenza del “Cenacolo degli amici di Francesco”, intendendosi per Francesco l’attuale Papa. Si tratta di un gruppetto di giornalisti e intellettuali – che potremmo anche definire ultras – guidati dal vaticanista del GR1 Raffaele Luise e formatosi poco dopo l’elezione al pontificato di papa Bergoglio.

Di tutte le possibili interpretazioni che si danno del magistero di papa Francesco, quella del Cenacolo – e di Raffaele Luise – è sicuramente tra le più progressiste. Non a caso per la prima uscita pubblica tre sere fa a Roma, relatori principali sono stati l’immancabile cardinale Walter Kasper e il cardinale Francesco Coccopalmerio. Vista l’affluenza di pubblico alla serata, probabilmente con il nome Cenacolo si fa riferimento al numero di adesioni (non più di una ventina i presenti in tutto).

The google translation is as follows: [with emphasis]

From the blog Rossoporpora.org edited by the Vatican correspondent Joseph Ruskin, we learn of the existence of the “Cenacle of Friends of Francis”,  “Francis” being the current Pope Francis. It is a small group of journalists and intellectuals who could be described as supporters led by the Vatican correspondent of the GR1 Raffaele Luise and formed shortly after his election to the pontificate of Pope Bergoglio.

Of all the possible interpretations of the magisterium of Pope Francis, one of the Last Supper Raffaele Luise is among the most progressive. No coincidence that at the first public event three nights ago in Rome, the keynote speakers were the inevitable Cardinal Walter Kasper and Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio. Given the number of guests at the event, probablythe Last Supper” could refer to the number of participants (no more than twenty present at all).

Got that? The first public event hosted by the Friends of Bill Francis or FoF’s, with the top architect and promoter of Francis’s “theology on the knees” and less than 20 people were present. And this includes the two cardinals and no doubt some FoF staff.  Also one has to ask if the restaurant staff were included in the “no more than twenty present in all”?

So there you have it. A perfect example of the “two V II councils Secret Synods” phenomenon in practice, where we see TeamFrancis with the assistance of the media creating one set of optics, but the reality on the ground being quite to the contrary.  And just as the old journalist adage states “believe nothing that you reads and only half of what you sees”, this is very wise and sound advice for anyone following church affairs these days.

H/t to MARCO who pointed out a couple of minor mistranslations from the Italian text.