by Dr. David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch
I. POPE FRANCIS AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
THE SYNOD ON THE FAMILY -- ENGLISH TRANSLATION: Read the article; read the document. Over 250 Bishops from all over the world agreed to this summation. The beautiful reflection is from a brotherhood of fathers united in prayer to the Father of all mercies, and listening to what He has revealed through His Son. The more the brotherhood can come together in person, engaging one another as a whole church, the more the errors of certain wealthy national episcopacies can be confronted. The cabals flourish in the dark. Light begets courage. This is the Pope Francis Synod strategy.
Some quotes from the final document --
On restoring man and woman to primal unity (from the Introduction):
Pope Francis recalled this in opening the final phase of this synodal journey dedicated to the family: "God did not create us to live in sorrow or to be alone. He made men and women for happiness, to share their journey with someone who complements them [...]. It is the same plan which Jesus presents [...] summarized with these words: ‘From the beginning of creation [God] made them male and female; for this reason a man will leave his father and his mother, and cleave to his wife and they become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh’ (Mk 10:6-8; cf. Gen 1:27; 2:24)." God "joins the hearts of two people who love one another, he who joins them in unity and indissolubility. This shows us that the goal of conjugal life is not simply to live together for life, but to love one another for life! In this way Jesus re-establishes the order which was present from the beginning [...] only in the light of the folly of the gratuitousness of Jesus’ paschal love will the folly of the gratuitousness of an exclusive and life-long conjugal love make sense" (Homily at the Opening Mass of the Synod, 4 October 2015).
An apostolic event of prayer - the spiritual reality of synod:
The Holy Father called the Synod of Bishops to reflect on the reality of the family. "The convenire in unum around the Bishop of Rome is indeed an event of grace, in which episcopal collegiality is made manifest in a path of spiritual and pastoral discernment." (Francis, Address at the Prayer Vigil in preparation for the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, 3 October 2014).God made us male and female so we could participate in the unique form of love which is Marriage -- let us give thanks:
God consecrates the love of a husband and a wife and confirms the indissoluble character of their love, offering them the grace to live in faithfulness, mutual integration, and openness to life. Let us thank God for marriage because, through the community of life and love, Christian spouses know happiness and experience that God loves them personally, with feelings of warmth and tenderness. The man and the woman, individually and as a couple — recalls Pope Francis — "are the image of God." Their difference "is not meant to stand in opposition, or to subordinate, but is for the sake of communion and generation, always in the image and likeness of God."Is this clear enough on the demonic oxymoron of gay marriage?:
Regarding proposals to place unions of homosexual persons on the same level as marriage, "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"(ibid). In every way, the Synod maintains as completely unacceptable that local Churches be subjected to pressure in this matter. and that international bodies link financial aid to poor countries to the introduction of laws to establish "marriage" between people of the same sex.
What Really Happened at Synod by Weigel
At First Things magazine, this article by George Weigel shows how tone-deaf conservative intellectuals are in understanding events of spiritual fraternity. Mr. Weigel had details of inside baseball (less about what really happened) with his happy news that an Eastern European (Cardinal Erdo of Hungary) beat the Western European (Cardinal Kasper of Germany) in theological arguments. He gave a very good summary of Erdo's address with quotations. If the article was called Opening Machinations and a Cardinal's Response, it would be good reporting. There was no quoting from the final document, which probably had not yet been translated into English. That seems a revealing deficit, as if Mr. Weigel's analysis rather than the bishops' document is "what really happened" amidst the Church Fathers. It is also peculiar that the dynamics of different episcopal cultures were not appreciated, whether it be the sumptuous extravagance of German entertaining or the role of language in fostering meetings of bishops of different countries. Certain kinds of men rise to leadership in forums such as these. Other kinds of men, who are magnified beyond their true proportion by their access to media outlets, are shrunken by face to face, man to man encounters. (Walter Kasper and Raymond Burke are two such men).
Unbelievably, the twin demons of the Apocalypse intervention by Cardinal Sarah is not mentioned. In fact, the southern-hemisphere Catholics are lectured: "The American experience of the past four decades is still not sufficiently 'in play' in the deliberations of the world church." Mr. Weigel apparently feels the American propensity for "theology of the body" talks has been an antidote to the still deeply compromised, unexposed, and unrepentant homosexual clergy who preen as moral authorities in American public life.
The great deficiency in Catholic teaching on sexuality is not in understanding male-female marriage. This synod shows we have that, quite universally and beautifully, in hand. It is the theology of the corporate body of men in patriarchal fraternity that we haven't reformed or even explained. The Americans and Mr. Weigel and the conservative intellectuals at First Things would do well to listen to Pope Francis and Cardinal Sarah to better appreciate the spiritual fruit that is coming from these apostolic gatherings called Synods.
CATHOLICS AND JEWS: On the 50th anniversary of Nostra Aetate the Vatican released a commemorative document. The gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. It is not dogma the authors are quick to say, but a reflection. We must hold two truths together: 1) the Covenant with Abraham as the sealing of Israel on Sinai still stands; and 2) Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the Covenant - in nature and in history.
The death of a great Jewish theologian. He rejected secular American intellectual Jews who were more interested in "Manhattan salons" than Judaism. He said Israel was the favored Son as was Joseph -- who, loving his father, reconciled with all his brothers. Election and universal brotherhood, more than philosophical treatises, were the motifs of the great Michael Wyschogrod.
II. LATIN AMERICA
CATHOLIC CARDINALS AND US GAY AMBASSADOR: This South American cardinal apparently is not too awestruck by the gay gringo from the North. The American fad of appointing homosexual ambassadors is considered an insult against most nations who retain ancient traditions of national honor.
American cardinals are not so straight-forward in dealing with the demonic death cult of sodomy. The primary practical reason the American and European priesthood has not yet repented for the abuse scandal is the continuing presence of a significant homosexual cohort among bishops and chanceries. Until this cult desecrating our purity codes of brotherhood is exposed and punished, the milieu of deceit and depravity will keep producing bizarre tales like those from New York.
SOUTH AMERICA: AFTER THE LEFTISTS, WILL CATHOLIC NATIONS EMERGE? We have seen the leftists. We have seen the feminist careerists. We have not yet seen Christian men leading their nations in a new drive for "land, labor, and lodging" as the Latin bishops and the pope have put it. The Parliament ousts the Chavismo. But what happens next? A new President - the end of the Kirchner power couple. The death of the Latin Left presents a great opportunity for Christianity and the nations to untie the atheistic knot of capitalism vs communism, and propose a true Christian public program.
III. RELIGION & GEOPOLITICS ROUND UP
RUMBLINGS WITHIN US MILITARY: ALLY WITH RUSSIA, CHINA AND SYRIA -- FIGHT ISIS: EXPOSE TURKEY: This excellent reportage by Seymour Hersh concerning US military-to-military relations with Russia which led many US military men to advocate our joining the Russians with Syria's Assad to fight ISIS. He also shows the interests of China in supporting the Syrian government and opposing the pan-Turkish Islamic designs of Erdogan of Turkey. China's western province of Xinjiang (population 22 million) has 45 percent Islamic Turkish language Ughyers.
See our 'Monday Map' on the lands of the Turkic people to understand how the communal bonds of language and religion inspire Erdogan's peculiar Ottoman empire/caliphate dreams. In China the Hui Muslims are ethnically Han, and have much more religious liberty than the Uyghurs who are often suspected of separatism based on their Turkish ethnicity as much as their Islamic religion.
VIOLENCE AND GUNS: A look at other nations and mass shootings.