The Synod of Compromise

October 29, 2015
Source: District of the USA

A brief commentary about the compromised Synod on the Family.

The long ecclesiastic debate, now a full 12 months old, is finally behind us… or so it seems. Debates are often stormy and divisive. For Church leaders to debate in the heart of Christendom before the common Father such vital topic as family life was to run a huge risk, in view of the rampant legislative decay of ruling Western countries this past years.

Although most groups might have left the Eternal City with much positive ground covered, in reality the result was a draw which has everyone stumped and baffled. Some called the "Synod Vatican III", and not wrongly it seems. No one really won and all were defeated in their endeavors, since the resulting document was a compromise. The image of the pope himself has come out tarnished, as head of a divided house. As wrote Roberto de Mattei “In the end we find ourselves faced with an ambiguous and contradictory document, which permits everyone to shout victory; even if nobody has won anything.”[1]

Oh! Not everything was lost in this struggle to defend the walls of civilization and the family. It is said that conservative Archbishop Chaput received the most votes in the Synod. Besides, the progressives have not been able to openly get their agenda into explicitly favor remarried divocees and homosexuals. Perhaps the most lasting gain, if more limited, is that those conservatives who still entertained illusions about the Roman authorities are slowly realizing how futile their hopes were and that, today, it is no use expecting much from the hierarchy.

Now for the bad news. The final document is a text of compromise and a masterpiece of ambiguity. This means that the lines of demarcation between good and evil are blurred. Sin isn’t so bad after all and some solutions can be found to not call an adulterer by his name. The key paragraphs allowing this venom are entitled “Discernment and Integration” which offers the divorced and remarried access to the sacraments. Two thirds of the votes were needed to accept it and it passed by one vote. Two centuries before the head of King Louis XVI of France rolled under the guillotine thanks to one extra vote in the Assembly.

This alone speaks volumes of the mindset of our hierarchs and their views of Church doctrine and morality. With the velvety words of “mercy” and “integration”, it is the conscience which becomes the new Church law, canonically. The projected “decentralization” coming from the pope himself to dissolve the papal authority into multiple Episcopal Conferences and Cultures is going to have lasting attacks on the unity of the Church. The “case by case” solution of moral issues as well as the inculturation are going to relativize and dissolves the moral law, which is by nature absolute.

This document of compromise is in fact compromising Catholic morality and the Church indefectibility altogether.


1 Quote cited from the Rorate Caeli blog article of October 27, 2015: "De Mattei: 'The failed Synod: everyone defeated; and Catholic morality in particular'".