NEWS:  October 31, 2014
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Bird’s Eye View of the News

Atila Sinke Guimarães
THE FAMILY SYNOD IN PERSPECTIVE  -  The Extraordinary Synod, which ended on October 19, 2014, can be analyzed from two different angles: political and doctrinal.

Politically speaking, I would say – evaluating the final document – that, for the first time since his pontificate began, Pope Bergoglio faced more serious reactions than he expected from the Bishops, which made the final document much less revolutionary than announced. Issues like homosexuality and Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics ended by not being what Francis wanted them to be. It is not difficult to see that a silent majority did not allow him to finish destroying Church’s Morals as quickly as he wished.

Germans Cardinal influence Pope Francis

The German Cards. Kasper, Marx and Schonborn have great influence over Bergoglio 

Perhaps foreseeing that the final vote would go against his plans, he and his radical German buddies Kasper, Marx and Schönborn – who, I believe, are the driving forces behind Bergoglio – agreed to have the bombastic provisory report “leak” to the press in order to plant their banner on top of a mountain they realized they could not climb together with the whole Synod.

This short term failure does not mean, however, that the progressivist solutions for the moral issues addressed at this first Synod will not go ahead in the Church. Since the Pope and numerous Bishops around the world share the same ideals, it will not be difficult to partially fulfill that agenda, making the life of those who want to conserve Catholic Morals more unbearable every day. So, even if on several points Bergoglio lost the short term battle, he will easily revert this into a long term victory, if he continues to live.

Regarding the radically progressivist provisory report issued in the middle of the Synod, I was sorry to see the lack of discernment of some fellow traditionalists in the U.S. and Europe, who naively took that document as final and made beautiful refutations of it, looking as imprudent as divers in a competition making their elegant summersaults into a pool with only a little water.

Now, with the release of the final document – which did not substantiate their comments – they are rushing back with patch-up-comments in an effort to rectify their error. They should have waited for the final document if they value their credibility.

Pope Francis leaving synod

Francis leaves the Synod with a short term defeat on homosexuals, but a long term victory in sight

Doctrinally speaking, I will go on to analyze the more important excerpts that were approved. Since only yesterday the Vatican released the official English translation of the final document, found here, I compared it with my translation from the Italian I had made before, whose original is here. In some parts where the English translation distorts the original, I am keeping my translation.

1. Homosexuality“Some families have members who have a homosexual tendency. Regarding this, we asked ourselves what pastoral attention might be appropriate for them in accordance with what the Church teaches: ‘There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.’ Nonetheless, men and women with a homosexual tendency must be received with respect and sensitivity. ‘Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.” (n. 55)

“Exerting pressure in this regard on the Pastors of the Church is totally unacceptable: this is equally so for international organizations who link their financial help to poor countries with the introduction of laws which establish ‘marriage’ between persons of the same sex.” (n. 56)


Although this text does not reflect the traditional position of repudiation the Church always took regarding homosexuality, it is not the approval of or even the warm welcome for homosexual “marriage” that Bergoglio and his group were expecting.

2. Regarding civil marriage, divorce and cohabitation “In considering a pastoral approach toward persons who have contracted a civil marriage, who have divorced and remarried, or who simply cohabitate, the Church must reveal her divine teaching on grace in their lives and help them to achieve the fullness of God’s plan for them.

"Looking to Christ, whose light illumines every person, the Church turns with love to those who participate in her life in an incomplete way, recognizing that the grace of God works also in their lives by giving them the courage to do good, to care for one another in love and to be of service to the community where they live and work.” (n. 25)


This saccharine language was chosen to signify that the Catholic Church will no longer say to these people who live in concubinage that they are in mortal sin and will go to Hell if they do not repent and abandon this state of life. There is no mention of sin or Hell in the entire document. Only the conciliar “constructive” approach is found: “Such a situation is just an incomplete way to participate in the Church’s life.”

In my opinion, in this excerpt and the new “pastoral of reconciliation and mediation,” Bergoglio got what he wanted.

3. Communion for the divorced and remarried – After acknowledging that some Fathers sustained the traditional position of the Church, the text goes on: “Others expressed themselves in favor of a non-generalized welcome to the Eucharistic table in some particular and very precise situations, largely when dealing with irreversible cases that involve a moral obligations toward children who could have to endure unjust suffering. Possible access to the sacraments must be preceded by penance, determined by the Diocesan Bishop. …” (n. 52)

Francis at the famly synod

Sycophant supporters will implement the progressivist agenda, left to right, Cards. Erdo, Assis and Tagle

This text does not allow general access to Communion for persons who are civilly divorced and remarried or cohabitating. Only some precise exceptions to the rule are mentioned as a possibility. Here, it was another defeat for Bergoglio.

We should not close our eyes, however, to the fact that, with the facilitation of annulments, almost anyone can get one. So, the Catholic who gets a divorce from the civil authority can easily apply for an annulment in his Diocese. Then, after receiving it, he can re-marry in the Church, leave the category of “outlaw” and have access to the Sacraments like any other Catholic.

4. Speeding up the annulment process “A great number of Synod Fathers emphasized the need to make the procedure for the recognition of annulments more accessible and agile, possibly completely gratis [with no fees].” (n. 48)

This was a full victory for Bergoglio, who announced on September 22, shortly before the Synod, that he had already established a commission to speed up and facilitate the annulment process.

5. Contraceptives “Openness to life is an intrinsic requirement of conjugal love” (n. 57) Human love needs to be lived in its fullness. “This serves as the basis for an appropriate teaching about the natural methods for responsible procreation.” (n. 58)

The norms of Humanae vitae with their restrictions and defects thus continue to rule in this matter.

6. Fundamental ambiguity in the norms - At the end of the document there are words that make all these decisions provisory at least until the next Synod in October 2015:

synod fathers

A divided Synod left all decisions floating in the air, without need for enforcement

“These proposed reflections … are intended to raise questions and indicate perspectives that will later be developed and clarified through reflection in the local churches in the intervening year leading to the XIV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, scheduled for October 2015, to treat The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and in the Contemporary World. These are not decisions taken nor are they easy subjects.” (n. 62)

In other words, after reacting differently on the various issues, the Bishops relativized every orientation they gave, passing the responsibility of the final decisions to the local churches and to the next Synod.

This conclusion reveals that they did not want a confrontation with the Bergoglio-German-axle and opted to postpone the more radical issues to see what happens.

We are far from having good Bishops to start a restoration of the Church. May God intervene soon to save His Most Holy Church.