Did the Synod avoid any doctrines contrary to the Faith?

Cardinal Pell has indicated that Cardinal Müller’s assessment of the Synod’s Final Report, in his role as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is that “there is no doctrinal error in anything that has been published”. During an interview with Catholic News Service Cardinal Pell insisted:
“It would have been helpful if there was more clarity. I thought that at the time. But there’s nothing in the paragraphs as they stand that is heretical, or false doctrine or advocating false practice. The text is fully in conformity with the basic Church teachings and practice”.

Furthermore, Cardinal Pell disputes the criticism that the paragraphs on the divorced and ‘remarried’ are ambiguous, but instead calls them ‘insufficient’.

However, the same reassurances cannot be given about the so called ‘Synod of the Media’ that is in many ways more influential than the Synod proper. In 2013 Pope Benedict XVI talked about the true Second Vatican Council and the false ‘Council of the Media’:

“There was the Council of the Fathers – the real Council – but there was also the Council of the media. It was almost a Council apart, and the world perceived the Council through the latter, through the media. Thus, the Council that reached the people with immediate effect was that of the media, not that of the Fathers”.

Incomprehensibly, the faithful Synod Fathers did not adequately heed Pope Benedict’s warnings about the Council of the Media, and for the most part conceded media airtime and bandwidth to the dissenters. Over the past three weeks the Synod of the Media has immediately exposed the people to certain Synod Fathers who have made statements containing heresy or false doctrine or advocated false practice.

Archbishop Cupich and the Synod of the Media

For example, Archbishop Cupich of Chicago gave an interview that at the very least did not uphold the clear teaching of the Church on conscience and the immorality of active homosexual behaviour and adultery. When asked about reception of communion by those who have not repented of sin and firmly committed to amend their lives Archbishop Cupich told the world’s press:

“If people come to a decision in good conscience then our job is to help them move forward and to respect that. The conscience is inviolable and we have to respect that when they make decisions, and I’ve always done that.”

Archbishop Cupich’s bald statement that “conscience is inviolable” is such a travesty of the Church’s doctrine on conscience as to border on false teaching. The Catechism of the Catholic Church unambiguously states that a person is morally responsible for acting according to an erroneous, ignorant conscience, and is “culpable for the evil he commits”:

“Ignorance of Christ and his Gospel, bad example given by others, enslavement to one's passions, assertion of a mistaken notion of autonomy of conscience, rejection of the Church's authority and her teaching, lack of conversion and of charity: these can be at the source of errors of judgment in moral conduct.” (CCC 1792).

Archbishop Cupich said nothing of this, but instead fed into the Synod of the Media that receiving Holy Communion was up to the consciences of the divorced and ‘re-married’ and active homosexuals. In this instance, and at other moments, the true Synod failed to challenge and correct the false teaching and false practice being broadcast to the world by a Synod Father. Archbishop Cupich returns to Chicago uncensored for promoting doctrines contrary to the Faith of the Church. In this regard, the Synod manifestly failed in its duty to defend, preserve and strengthen the faith.

Did the Synod preserve God's people from deviations and defections?

Pope St John Paul II enunciated the magisterial teaching of the Church on the pastoral care of couples who are divorced and ‘remarried’ in the Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris Consortio, written in response to the synod on the family held in 1980. It is the definitive teaching of the Church on this matter.

The section of the Synod’s Final Report on the divorced and ‘re-married’ includes a substantial quote from Pope St John Paul’s Familiaris Consortio but tellingly omits the crucial part that spells out why the divorced and ‘re-married’ cannot receive Holy Communion. Pope John Paul II sets out the perennial reasons for this prohibition:

“However, the Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist. Besides this, there is another special pastoral reason: if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church's teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.” (paragraph 84).

The Synod’s Final Report is silent on this definitive and settled doctrine that is at the heart of the current conflict between faithful Catholics and dissenters. Into this silence prominent priests are saying that the Synod Final Report allows divorced and ‘re-married’ to receive Holy Communion. Fr James Martin SJ, the editor at large at America magazine, has added his voice to the Synod of the Media in order to present false teaching and false practice. He posted on his facebook page:

“The final document has been released and among its recommendations, for divorced and remarried Catholics it encourages the use of the ‘internal forum’ , a practice where a Catholic consults with a priest, discerns and reflects on his or her situation and then, using his or her conscience as a guide, decides whether to receive communion”.

This hijacking of the Synod Final Report to present false teaching and false practice exposes the grave mistake of choosing to be silent over Pope St John Paul’s clear prohibition of divorced and re-married receiving Holy Communion. Why the Synod did chose silence over clear teaching? Some have suggested that the omission of the crucial section of Familiaris Consortio was in order to achieve consensus between the opposing groups at the Synod.

St Maximus the Confessor, martyred by fellow Catholics for upholding doctrine, challenged the use of such diplomatic silence in the Church in order to arrange peace between the faithful and the heretical. During his trial St Maximus said:
“Silence according to the divine Scripture is denial as well. For God said through David, ‘There is no speech, nor are there words whose sounds are not heard’.(Ps 19:3). Therefore unless the words concerning God can be spoken and heard then neither do they exist, according to Scripture”. (The Trial of Maximus).

The universal Church needed to hear the Synod explicitly re-iterate Pope St John Paul’s words prohibiting communion to those committing adultery. Choosing silence for the sake of ‘peace’, means instead the disquiet of false teaching and false practice are spreading far and wide, and all in the name of the Synod. There is no sense in a Synod which puts countless souls in peril.





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