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This post and the subsequent post will be expansions of The “Jesuitical” Bait-and-Switch (“JBS”) post. Today’s post is titled Francis “Showing a Leg”. “Showing a leg” is an expression which describes an old football tactic whereby a player who is running with the ball extends a leg toward the would be tackler, only to pull it away as soon as the tackler commits himself to reaching for that leg. This allows the ball carrier to avoid being tackled and allows him to score a touchdown. And from what we have witnessed at the Shameful Secret Synod so far, Francis is desperate to “score a touchdown”. And all that is left for us to do is identify what exactly “scoring a touchdown” to Francis entails.
In the JBS post introduction, I started by making the case that IF the Secret Synod was really about “the family”, than the natural starting point for Team Francis should have been the JP II Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Concortio (“FC”). And even if “FC” wasn’t the initial starting point, with all the changes made by the Synod bishops and the direction in which those changes went, the Final Relatio brought the discussions back to that starting point, i.e. the Familiaris Concortio. But since the “FC” is still nowhere to be found in the discussion, there is something in it that creates serious problems for Francis and his manipulators with respect for their true agenda. So a hidden agenda is being promoted, whose results will be to attain the goals of the true agenda. This hidden agenda appears to be comprised of two elements, since it is these two elements that were forced into the Final Relatio despite being voted down by the Synod And these two elements are: communion for the divorced remarried (“cdr) and changing the Church teaching on homosexuality (“cth”).
In this post I will focus on the Communion for the Divorced Remarried (“cdr”) issue.
A Third Rail Issue
With respect to the first element of the manipulator’s hidden agenda, i.e. “cdr”, in the JBS post I explained how the justification that Francis used in the La Nacion interview was clumsy at best and in reality an attempt to convince a gullible audience that he is really, really thinking about changing the
doctrine practice on “cdr”. I think it is fair to say that the rationale behind the “godfather” example in the La Nacion interview was pure and utter gibberish.
And then I quoted the Scalabrinian illustrious canonist and president emeritus of the prefecture of economic affairs of the Holy See Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, who wrote the following: (emphasis added)
In the judgment of Cardinal De Paolis, this paragraph [of the final “Relatio”, dealing with pros and cons of “cdr”] is not only incoherent and contradictory in itself, but “the innovations that would be introduced if it were approved would be of unprecedented gravity,” because they would undermine the very foundations of Catholic dogma and morals.
And even if no other evidence existed, and no other supporting positions by other members of the Catholic Church hierarchy were stated publicly, this passage alone would demonstrate that Francis and his ghost writer’s proposal is nothing short of a “ third rail” issue. And just to explain the concept of a “third rail”, it is a metaphor derived from the electrically charged third rail that acts as the power source for electric train engines. If a person touches the third rail, he is electrocuted.
As to the consequences of trying to force a change in the
doctrine practice of the “cdr”, a change in doctrine that would “undermine the very foundations of Catholic dogma and morals”, Francis would be risking a situation whereby:
“the hierarchical structure of the Church would require that (in the case of an apostate pope, or a heretical pope, or an invalidly elected pope), that some cardinals and bishops break with the fraud and reconstitute the hierarchy because the indefectibility of the Church preserves at least in part all the orders in the church, cardinals, bishops, clergy, religious. (H/t to the From Rome blog.)
Here is where we are entering into serious Sedevacante territory. And on an aside, it is not without meaning that cd. De Paoli is the Prefect Emeritus of the Economics Secretariate of cd. Pell, the author of the 37 false popes soundbite.
Proof that Francis will not change doctrine/practice on the “cdr”.
The proof that Francis will not do anything to risk his papacy by attempting to change either doctrine or practice with respect to the communion for the divorced remarried is of a “circumstantial evidence” variety. Therefore, the question becomes: does it meet the preponderance of evidence threshold? My case is laid out below.
I didn’t spend too much time addressing this point in the JBS post because I think it is a bogus issue. On this point, as I stated above, I think Francis is “showing us a leg”.
Why do I think this? Because Francis said so. How do we know that he said so?
We know that Francis said so from an interview that Cardinal Meisner of Cologne gave to Deutschlandrundfunk, and was posted (partially) on Fr. Z’s blog on 23 December 2013. (see here) True, we are dealing here with a third person account as our source, but let’s just assume it’s true. Furthermore, please recall that this interview appeared almost two months before the Kasperian “theology done on ones knees” speech. So Francis had no reason to not tell us what he thinks simply because he did not know how the Shameful Secret Synod would play out. Therefore, on the issue of changing
dogma practice on the “cdr”, here is what the good cardinal said that Francis said: (emphasis from Fr. Z)
During the flight back from Rio you were asked about people who divorced and remarried. And the pope responded frankly: People who are divorced can receive communion, people who are remarried can’t.
Do I believe what Francis said? Yes, and without mentioning that this is a canonically proper position to hold, here is why.
There are four reasons why I think Francis will not change the doctrine/practice in this area, which support the point in the Third Rail section:
First note that De Paolis has “come back” to the argument of communion divorced and remarried. De Paolis has taken a public position as early as March 27 2014, (see here) and his position was included in the Five Cardinals book. The present quote from De Paolis is a complete and utter “trashing” of paragraph 52 of the final Relatio. And it is worth repeating that De Paolis makes the case that:
“the innovations that would be introduced if it were approved would be of unprecedented gravity,” because they would undermine the very foundations of Catholic dogma and morals.
So Francis had been warned. But Francis knew there were problems with “theology on the knees” no later than when De Paulo joined the other four cardinals in the Five Cardinals Book that came out before the Synod started, and most likely much, much earlier. As early as the date of the cd. Meisner meeting.
Francis would not make a change like this without cover, as per Third Rail section argumentation. This is why he called the Shameful Secret Synod in the first place. All the scheming, maneuvering and manipulation that we witnessed at the Secret Synod of 2014 was an attempt to give Francis cover. And not necessarily for the ”cdr”. We also know this from the same interview with Cd. Meisner, when he relates these words of Francis:
And the pope responded quite bluntly that he’s a son of the church, and he doesn’t proclaim anything else than the teachings of the church.
Now we can question the intentions behind the reason why Francis said what he said, but it would appear that he provides to cd. Meisner the “line of demarcation” that he will not cross. From observing what went on at the Secret Synod of 2014, the following would be an accurate statement: Francis will lie, cheat and steal, as long as Francis has cover for his lying cheating and stealing. Besides, we also have confirmation that he will not cross this line from cd. Scola. (see here)
Francis does not have cover. A good case in point about Francis needing and lacking cover can be observed from the situation that developed leading up to Benedict revising his texts on just this subject matter. As we have seen, Francis has been quoting Benedict when trying to justify his “purported” changing of the doctrine practice on “cdr”. Here is a Francis quote from Fr. Z’s blog from the 27 of May 2014, (see here) given on the flight back from the Holy Land to a reporter: (emphasis added)
“Something Pope Benedict said three times about the divorced has helped me a lot. Once, in the Valle d’Aosta, another time in Milan, and the last time in the public consistory which he held for the creation of cardinals: to study the procedures for matrimonial nullity; to study the faith with which a person comes to matrimony and [NB] to clarify that the divorced are not excommunicated, and so many times they are treated as excommunicated.”
And it was not only Francis who was suggesting that his position has Benedict’s tacit support. Kasper was saying the same thing likewise. (see here). So is it any wonder why Benedict went through all his earlier work to expiate the “nuances”, at the same time depriving this “dynamic duo” of a large part of their cover. (see here) Also puts the Benedict revisions in a proper context. Yes?
Before we go to reason 4, which is really an “anti-reason” we need to make the following observation. From the above 3 reasons, it would appear that Francis “gave it the old college try” to get the “cdr”
doctrine practice changed. However, it just wasn’t meant to be. The “stubborn” just wouldn’t bend to the “god of surprises” Holy Spirit, Francis can claim. As a matter of fact, he did just that in the La Nacion inteview. Funny that! But I digress…
But the question is, did he really, really try, or was he just going through the motions. And here is why I think he was going through the motions.
The reason why I think Francis is just going through the motions of trying to change the “cdr” doctrine practice, and at the same time playing the German Bishops’ Conference and its president card. Marx like a cheap banjo is due to the following fact. Francis and his cohorts did not bring out the big gun to get the “cdr”practice changed, let alone the dogma changed. And the big gun was the JP II Apostolic Exhortation Familiars Concortio. And what is the evidence?
First of all, the “FC” would have given Team Francis a bridge between Vatican II Gaudium et spes, with the associated “Sacred Spirit of VII” pastoral stuff, through the “FC” and into the forthcoming final product of this Secret Synod 2014/2015. Making the final product of Francis grounded in FC, would have been easy enough to do. How do we know this would have been easy to do? Since in the run up to the Synod, cd. Kasper was quoting the “FC” in his promotional tours. (see here).
Next, a foundation in the “FC” would have placated a larger number of the bishops at the Synod. Keep in mind that the majority were elevated by JPII, and hold him in high esteem. And that is not even mentioning the Polish bishops who were personally offended by the “FC” being completely disregarded by Team Farncis. Therefore, by totally disregarding the “FC”, the manipulators “created a defeat” for their position on the “cdr” at the Secret Synod 2014. But to paraphrase the rogue priest in the the Dirty Harry movie: ”Sacrifices have to be made”.
A lot of the disquiet outside of the Polish Episcopate Conference was due to the fact that “FC” was completely ignored. As a matter of fact, we could observe just this fact, that “the will of the Synod bishops” was to bring the Final Relatio back to this starting point, i.e. the FC. And they did just that. Refer to the argumentation in the JBS post.
Futhermore, the Thursday when cd. Pell stood up and banged his hand on the desk and shouted to Team Francis to “stop manipulating the Synod” was considered by some as an act of divine intervention attributable to JPII. (see here). And that is why this day will always be known on the Deus Ex Machina blog as the “JPII/Familiaris Concortio Miracle Thursday”. But I digress…
By not grounding this new “Product of Synod 2014/2015” in the “FC”, it is as if the manipulators are trying to start from scratch. What ever the form of the Francis magisterium that will be coming out of this process, it will be void of the lineage of JP II Familiaris Concortio and by extension Gaudium et spes of Vatican II by design, i.e. independent of all predecessors. Talk about a hermeneutic of rupture. And from the “quote fest” of Benedict XVI citations from both Francis and card. Kasper with respect to the “communion for divorced remarried” issue, it would have appeared that a hermeneutic of continuity was desperately needed. Or so it appeared.
But from the evidence above, it obviously wasn’t.
In the above text, we see that the Secret Synod of 2014/2015 was created to provide cover for making changes to Catholic Church doctrine, masked as “only a change in practice”. The “Family” was used as a proxy to changing doctrine/practice that is not in the least bit related to “The Family”. The hidden agenda was exposed at the Secret Synod 2014 by courageous clerics and according to bp. Athanasius Schneider; journalists and bloggers. (see here) The hidden agenda centered around two issues, namely “communion for divorced remarried” and “church teaching on homosexuality”. The way we know this to be the case is that even though the paragraphs associated with these two issues were voted down by the bishop’s at the Synod, the head manipulators (or rather the Head Manipulator) had them forcefully inserted into to Final Relatio that went out to the bishops’ conferences for further consultation.
However, after a careful analysis of the process to date, it would appear that the “cdr” is not a real concern. The argumentation is explained in the above text. And just to make the final argument, we can assume that this to be the case from two before unmentioned facts. First is the comment by Francis made to cd. Meisner in the above cited interview that:
Furthermore, when there are open theological questions, it’s up to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to give detailed responses“.
And we know what cd. Muller’s position on this matter and corroborates the Francis position. (see here). Therefore, it is really a non issue, however an non issue that is generating by far the most debate post Shameful Secret Synod of 2014. Given the argumentation above, it would appear that that the issue of “communion for the divorced remarried” is analogous to the “leg” of the ball carrier who shows it to the would be tackler, only to pull it away as soon as the tackler commits himself to reaching for that leg.
Given the above, it would appear that the real issue driving the Francis hidden agenda is the second element of the identified hidden agenda of Francis, i.e. changing the teaching on the “intrincsic disorder” which is homosexuality.
And this is the subject for the next post.