Final Report is a "bad document": De Mattei

November 06, 2015
Source: District of the USA

Prof. Roberto de Mattei explains the failures of the Final Report of the Synod on the Family.

From the new DICI issue #324, we offer below some comments of Prof. de Mattei concerning the Synod's Final Report and how faithful Catholics throughout the world are responding to it.

Interview with Roberto de Mattei : “The Final Report of the Synod is a bad document”

Professor Roberto de Mattei (in the picture), author of The Second Vatican Council: An Unwritten Story (English translation edited by Michael J. Miller, Loreto Publications) and Apology of Tradition was willing to answer questions from DICI after the Synod on the Family.

DICI: Now that the Second Session of the Synod on the Family is over, what is your judgment on the Relatio finalis [Final Report] and on the concluding statement by Pope Francis?

Prof. de Mattei: First of all it must be said that the Relatio finalis of the Synod on the Family is a strictly consultative document, without any magisterial value. We are talking about a bad document, both in the language that it uses and in its substance, which not only opens the door slightly to divorced-and-remarried persons but, more generally, tends to deny the objective and absolute character of Catholic morality. Many conservatives have expressed a positive judgment on the document because there had been the risk that a worse document might pass, but the lesser evil is still an evil, and we can do no otherwise than to express a negative judgment on this document.

The progressives, for their part, are celebrating victory because they say that the Relatio finalis, although inadequate, is for them a “step forward” by comparison with the opening Report by Cardinal Erdo. But the objective of the innovators was the version presented to the Synod on Thursday, October 22 in the evening and rejected by the Synod Fathers on October 23 in the morning. In my opinions, both progressives and conservatives emerge from this Synod equally defeated. And even Pope Francis cannot be considered the “victor”. His closing speech on October 24 shows that he is very dissatisfied with the Synod’s outcome.

DICI: As an historian of Vatican II, what parallel do you observe between the way in which this Synod functioned and that of the Council?

Prof. de Mattei: “Synodality” is the attempt to transform the monarchical and hierarchical constitution of the Church into a democratic, parliamentary structure. In this respect, the functioning of the Synod recalls the dynamic of the revolutionary assemblies described by Augustin Cochin in his groundbreaking study on Les societes de pensee et la democratie moderne [roughly: Ideological Factions and Modern Democracy]: under the appearances of democracy, in fact a restricted group of organizers is what steers and manipulates the assembly. This is what happened both in Vatican Council II and during the 14th Ordinary Synod on the Family.

The Synod seems to me to be also a failure for its promoters in that the contradiction therein is manifest: it was convoked in the name of democracy in the Church, but in its functioning neither transparency nor the will of the majority was taken into account. In reality the Truth of the Gospel cannot be subjected to the decision of either a majority or a minority. It was proclaimed one and for all by Our Lord and we can only transmit, defend, and spread it.

DICI: Bishop Fellay published, before and after the Synod, a Petition to the Holy Father and a Declaration on the Final Report; how do you see these documents?

Prof. de Mattei: Bishop Fellay’s Declaration on the Relatio finalis is one of a long line of petitions and appeals addressed to the Holy Father before, during and after the Synod. It seemed opportune to me and I agree with its contents and terms, which are firm but respectful, as befits Catholics who are worried about the increasingly serious situation in which the Church finds herself today.

By now the whole world is petitioning the Holy Father to reaffirm clearly and solemnly the divine and natural truth about marriage and the family, and about these truths of faith and morality that we see being called into question even by the highest ecclesiastical authorities. Bishop Fellay’s Petition and Declaration, just like the other “Filial Petition” presented to the Pope by 200 prelates and 850,000 faithful from all over the world, express this vibrant appeal very well.

(Source: FSSPX/MG—DICI no. 324, 11-6-2015)