Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Francis at SynodToday we continue man marking Archbishop Fernandez. The interview that he gave to the Corriera della Sera on the 10th of May 2015 can be found here, a translation of  this interview can be found in our previous post titled Man Marking Fernandez – The Loose Canon.(see here) Needless to say, the interview presented to the public domain by Archbishop Fernandez was quite revealing. For our purposes, we will use the original text and provide our own translation for passages that are not translated in the previous post.

Right from the onset of the interview, we can read the following exchange:

Q: Is the Pope isolated?

A: “Not at all. The people are with him. His opponents are weaker than they think. “

This is a very interesting exchange since it deals with an observation that was made by Prof. Odon Vallet at the end of December 2014. Just a reminder, December 2014 could be considered Francis’ Horrendum Mensis, and ended with the now infamous and notorious Christmas address to the Roman Curia.

The reason that I am bringing this matter up here is that it should give you, dear reader a good idea of just who Francis’ “opponents” are, “opponents” not named by Archbishop Fernandez in his interview. But I digress…

The interview appeared at the Rorate Caeli blog given by Prof. Odon Vallet, a liberal historian of religion who is highly influential in France (he is the “progressive” go-to man for analyses of Catholic current events in French media), that we re-blogged in the Turkey, Meet Mr. Fork! post (see here). According to Prof. Vallet, this was the situation at the end of December 2014: (emphasis added)

Q: Do these words express a difficulty in achieving the reforms he set out to do?

OV: Nothing allows us to assume that he will be able to accomplish his reforms. I gather that he has an under-50% chance of accomplishing them. The reform of the Council of Trent (16th century) took 18 years, and required six popes… Pope Francis is 78, his undertaking in the renewal of the Church will be very difficult. Even more so because he has 90% of the Curia against him.

It would appear that the situation described by Vallet above, which appeared on the 22nd of December, 2014 has had a direct impact on the progress, or rather the lack of progress of certain aspects of Francis’ Lord’s pastoral call five months on. Here is the telling exchange from the Fernandez interview:

Q: Would it be possible to have a pope without Vatican or away from the Vatican?

AVF: “The Roman Curia is not an essential structure. The pope could even go and live away from Rome, have a dicastery in Rome and another one in Bogota, and perhaps link-up by teleconference with liturgical experts that live in Germany. Gathered around the pope, in a theological sense, is the College of Bishops in order to serve the people.”

From the above passage, it would appear that Team Francis cannot get around the Roman Curia nor can they dismantle the Curia as originally planned. Here is how the original thinking of Team Francis went about one year into the pontificate, as it was described on the 3rd of March 2014 in the MondayVatican blog: (see here)

Watch, judge, act. These are the three steps put into action by Pope Francis. After almost one year of pontificate, Pope Francis has decided on a way forward on how to reform the Curia. Those who were thinking of a wide reform, built on a solid legal framework, will be perhaps disappointed. Pope Francis seems to have taken the decision of changing everything without waiting any longer. And of starting the Curia reform without reforming the Pastor Bonus, i.e. the constitution that regulates the functions of the offices of the Curia. Rather, Pope Francis is going to directly establish a parallel Curia. When this parallel Curia is complete, he will probably let all the other structures wither away.

So that was the plan in March of 2014. I will leave the analysis of how this “brilliant” idea of a ‘parallel Curia” fared for another post, but just a hint: turkey met fork, again. But back to subject at hand.

So if, according to Archbishop Fernandez’s thinking, and by inference to Francis’, the Roman Curia, consisting of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith among others, is not an “essential structure”, what is or are the essential structures? Here is the answer provided by Archbishop Fernandez:

Q: Isn’t this idea of the pope having a direct rapport with the people something risky, while the Church’s ecclesiastical class feels marginalized?

AVF: “But the Church is the People of God guided by their pastors. Cardinals could disappear, in the sense that they are not essential. The pope and the bishops are essential. Then again, it is impossible that everything a pope does and says will please everyone. Did everyone like Benedict XVI? Unity does not depend on unanimity.

In the above passage, the thinking of Team Francis is laid out for us on a plate.

Just to recap, according to Francis, it is the “bishops” – as represented by the Synod of Bishops and the pope , i.e. Francis that are essential. Therefore it follows that everything else is non-essential. We have confirmation of just this here:

Would it be possible to have a pope without Vatican or away from the Vatican?

“The Roman Curia is not an essential structure. The pope could even go and live away from Rome, have a dicastery in Rome and another one in Bogota, and perhaps link-up by teleconference with liturgical experts that live in Germany. Gathered around the pope, in a theological sense, is the College of Bishops in order to serve the people.”

Which brings us to the final element that is essential, i.e. the “P” eolpe of God. Archbishop Fernandez did not explain how the “P”eople of God fit into the thinking of FrancisChurch, other than to tell us that these “P”eople of God just simply love Francis. Now these “P”eople of God are definitely not those that are described in this link here. But I digress…

To understand how the “P”eople of God fit in, here is the relevant passage from the MondayVatican blog post titled Pope Francis’ Real Challenge (see here):

There is a recurrent theme in all the conversations around curial reform as well as an eventual reform of Catholic doctrine on the basis of the outcome of the coming Synod of Bishops: the theme is sensus fidei fidelium (literally, the sense of faith on the part of the faithful), that is, the intuition possessed by the faithful in understanding correctly matters concerning the Faith. Pope Francis often mentions it when he insists that the People of God, in its entirety, cannot fail. Cardinal Reinhard Marx also used this argument during the Synod of Bishops, when he affirmed that doctrine is not something fixed, but must be adapted according to the signs of times and to the sensibilities of the faithful. And in the end this is the rationale of the organization behind the Synod of Bishops – an organization that seems to be trying to use the questionnaires delivered to the bishops’ conferences as a means for pressuring the Synod Fathers into accepting more “pastoral” approaches as distinct from “the mere application of doctrine”- as the 2015 Synod’s Lineamenta suggested.

Notice the sleight of hand with respect to the definition of “sensus fidei fidelium” as nothing more than the “sensus laicorum (sense of the lay people), as if it were a charism granted to the laity in isolation from the Catholic Church hierarchy, and as if the clergy were not included among “the faithful”, an understanding that would make the “sensus fidei fidelium” a “kind of public ecclesial opinion, and invoking it in order to contest the teachings of the Magisterium”.

Hmmmmm…… I seem to have read about just this somewhere. (see here) But let’s get back and summarize what we have written above.

So now that we have identified all the moving parts, let’s connect the dots.

1. The Church is the People of God guided by their pastors.

2. Gathered around the pope, in a theological sense, is the College of Bishops in order to serve the people.”

3. The pope and the bishops are essential.

4. The “P”eople of God possess the ‘sensus fidei fidelium’ (literally, the sense of faith on the part of the faithful), that is, the intuition possessed by the faithful in understanding correctly matters concerning the Faith.

5. Cardinal Reinhard Marx also used this argument [Ed. note: argument in point 4.] during the Synod of Bishops, when he affirmed that doctrine is not something fixed, but must be adapted according to the signs of times and to the sensibilities of the faithful [Ed note: i.e. sensus fidei fidelium] .

6. And in the end this is the rationale of the organization behind the Synod of Bishops – an organization that seems to be trying to use the questionnaires delivered to the bishops’ conferences as a means for pressuring the Synod Fathers into accepting more “pastoral” approaches as distinct from “the mere application of doctrine”- as the 2015 Synod’s Lineamenta suggested. (Hint: HIDDEN AGENDA. And it was billed as being about the Family. Who would have thunk? )

7. Unity does not depend on unanimity.

8. Pope Francis often mentions it [Ed. note: sensus fidei fidelium] when he insists that the People of God, in its entirety, cannot fail.

And now let’s conclude by putting the above information into the Synod of Bishops’ narrative:

Francis calls for the Synod of Bishops’ to “accept more “pastoral” approaches as distinct from “the mere application of doctrine. The Synod of Bishops is “essential” since “The pope and the bishops are essentialand the Synod of Bishops’ is a proxy for “the bishops”. The Synod of Bishops produces a Final Relatio that the Synod of Bishops vote on. Paragraphs that are voted down are then re-inserted into the Final Relatio at Francis’ insistence. The inference here is that if these vetoed paragraphs are not in the Relatio, they can not be voted on. And since another Synod is one year later, these vetoed paragraphs, if they would be in the Synod document, can be voted on again. Or to put it another way, the Bishops, since they have the vetoed paragraphs in the Synod documents, regardless of whether they get vetoed or not, will vote until they vote correctly. Since “unity does not depend on unanimity a simple majority will do. Once the Synod votes correctly, the matter is in the domain of the sensus fidei fidelium’ (literally, the sense of faith on the part of the faithful), that is, the intuition possessed by the faithful in understanding correctly matters concerning the Faith. And since, the People of God, in its entirety, cannot fail, we have a result, i.e….

IRREVERSIBLE DOCTRINAL CHANGE.

It could have been just that easy if not for that dreaded…

THEOLOGICAL STRUCTURING!

Advertisements