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Relaxing the AssumptionsYesterday, we examined a prospective STRATEGY that Francis and his supporters, which we collectively labeled TEAMFRANCIS, could execute at the upcoming Stealth Sex Synod™ of Bishops of 2015. We came to the conclusion that this STRATEGY provides for TEAMFRANCIS an acceptable SOLUTION. Furthermore, this SOLUTION would also be acceptable to the forces lined up against TEAMFRANCIS. These forces we designated as TEAMORTHODOXY. The basis upon which we made this determination was on a Game Theory simulation in which a Nash Equilibrium was identified, which we explained summing up our post.

For the sake of positive reinforcement, it is worth our time here to restate this STRATEGY and the resulting SOLUTION that generated the Nash Equilibrium.

According to Andrea Gagliarducci in his post titled Pope Francis: What is his Pontificate’s Upcoming Agenda?(see here), the following are the relevant data points that define the situation on the ground: (comments added)

Due to the fact that the “Bishops’ conferences from all over the world are electing representatives to the 2015 Synod, and a first glance at the list of participants shows that the majority of the bishops chosen by the conferences are followers of Church doctrine, (TEAMORTHODOXY) rather than adapters (TEAMFRANCIS)”.

(Furthermore TEAMFRANCIS has) ” failed to win over the Synod of Bishops to their positions, and this is the reason the General Secretary of the Synod considered changing the rules.”

Therefore, the following rules changes will be the basis for the STRATEGY that TEAMFRANCIS will execute at the upcoming Stealth Sex Synod™ of 2015:

• First of all, a midterm report will not be released.

• The plan is for the Synod to carry out discussions mostly in “small groups” (circuli minores) without a general discussion.

• No final report or post-synodal apostolic exhortation is foreseen at the moment, at least according to recent rumors.

• In the end, the reports of the small groups would be put in the Pope’s hands, and the Pope would then give a final address.

The reason why the above STRATEGY we consider to be viable strategy has been determined through a Game Theory simulation. We have established ceteris paribus, that a Nash Equilibrium exists in this STRATEGY. A Nash Equilibrium is defined as a state where no player has anything to gain by changing the strategy (as per outlined above) and if any player changed the strategy, a worse result (payout matrix) would occur for that player.

The Nash Equilibrium can be defined as follows:

TEAMFRANCIS can do no better than executing a strategy that produces no OFFICIAL SYNOD DOCUMENTS, since any DOCUMENT that would arise and would designate a “change in doctrine” would be voted down by the Synod. TEAMFRANCIS needs a change of doctrine.

TEAMORTHODOXY can do no better likewise since if it tries to force the Synod to issue a formal DOCUMENT and then proceeds to vote down the “heterodox/heretical” passages, this will create a situation whereby the pope will have been defeated in a vote by the Synod of Bishops. This will weaken the Petrine Office since it will demonstrate that the pope and bishops are not united in questions of faith and morals.

These above two “strategies” constitute a Nash Equilibrium (NE).

Taking the above defined NE as our base case scenario, what this blogger will do now is see how the NE will be effected if one loosens the assumptions on which it was constructed. Please keep in mind, the “reality of the Nash equilibrium of a game can be tested using experimental economics method”, i.e. loosening the assumptions of the base case scenario.

One assumption that serves as the basis for our NE is that both sides assume that if there was to be a vote at the Synod of Bishops, the TEAMORTHODOXY side would have a majority.

Let’s relax this assumption, i.e. TEAMFRANCIS determines that it has “bought off” enough African bishops in such a large enough number, that TEAMFRANCIS assumes that they might be able to win a vote.

If this was the case, then it could be in the best interest (maximization of the payout matrix) for TEAMFRANCIS try to produce a DOCUMENT and attempt to hold a vote on that DOCUMENT.

Therefore, if we begin to observe that information starts appearing about a formal interim Relatio DOCUMENT and/or final Relatio DOCUMENT will be written, the simple explanation is that TEAMFRANCIS thinks that they have the votes. Numquam ponenda est pluralitas sine necessitate. (see here)

A second scenario can arise by assuming that TEAMFRANCIS thinks that they can “stack the deck” with TEAMFRANICS members in one of the circuli minores (small groups). Since the discussions will be held mostly in “small groups” (circuli minores) without a general discussion, the chances are better for one of these circuli minors to be stacked with TEAMFRANCIS members. In this case, the appearance of information that the Synod rules will be changed to introduced majority voting would imply that TEAM FRANCIS intends to hold a vote inside these small groups. This “circuli minores vote” can then be claimed to represent (a proxy) the position of the entire Synod of Bishops. This “voted on and passed document” would then be handed to Francis for his concluding FRANCISSPEECH. This would in turn allow TEAMFRANCIS to obtain a better outcome in the Game simulation at the expense of TEAMORTHODOXY, disturbing our original Nash Equilibrium.

And just to for the sake of balance, if the Synod Secretariat changes the rules for majority voting, and votes takes place in the circuli minores on a simple majority basis, TEAMORTHODOXY can counter TEAMFRANCIS’ move by introducing a “document” with the “intrinsic disorder” language in one of the “unstacked” circuli. A positive vote would reinforce Catholic doctrine’s foundation in natural law and natural moral law. This would negate any “creative interpretation” that TEAMFRANCIS would want to put on the FRANCISSPEECH at a later date.

On an aside. The above scenario is the reason why it is of the utmost importance to define the TRUE AGENDA of the Stealth Sex Synod™. (see here) If our assumption is correct and the TRUE AGENDA behind the calling of this Synod is the introduction of Gender Ideology into Catholic doctrinal teaching (see here), the simple introducing of these two words, i.e. “intrinsically disordered” into a Synod DOCUMENT or “document”, will short-circuit the entire TEAMFRANCIS bi-synod excercise and reaffirm Catholic teaching with respect to faith and morals.

I will conclude here.

What is important for the Catholic Faithful is to be cognizant of the state of play behind the Sacred Vatican Walls as represented by this base case scenario. If you dear reader understand the base case scenario, you will be in a better position to understand the information that will be coming out in the upcoming 25 days leading up to the Stealth Sex Synod™ and the subsequent three weeks, week number three being the most important. With the above described “framework” at hand, you dear reader will be in a better position to assess any new information will be emanating from the respective sides and better assess the TRUE  state of play that is taking place at the Stealth Sex Synod™ of 2015.

Having a better understanding of what is playing out behind the Sacred Vatican Walls in turn, should reduce the unnecessary level of anxiety or despondence that you might have acquired during this exhausting bi-Synod process and even during this ordeal that is the Francis papacy.