I really don’t want to discount this story with a cheap joke, because the sentiment held within, is not anomalous. It is a sentiment held by a large contingent of Catholics.
As the pope began the Synod on the Family, yesterday, the presses at conspiracy theory headquarters began to hum with anticipation. As the author suggests, “In the next three weeks, I fully expect the leadership of my own One Holy and Apostolic Catholic Church to fall into apostasy, at the conclusion of the Synod on the Family that begins today in Rome” (Dougherty, B. 2015).
This is a true bummer that many people feel this way, and I’m not being glib.
To say suggest the Church is going to fall into apostasy is a heavy claim. Essentially what he is saying is that the Church is modifying doctrine, which we know to be immovable. If you do truly believe this is altering doctrine, you, without a doubt, believe the pope to maybe be the greatest judicial activist this side of Pope Gregory I or Judge Judy. Those chants definitely sparked the anger of the faithful. The pope, however, insists this is simply juridical, not doctrinal.
The author of this piece is no fan of post Second Vatican Council Catholicism. I mean, really not a fan. “The truth, if the prelates can shoulder it, is that the loss of Catholic faith we are witnessing in the Synod process should have been expected. At the Second Vatican Council and afterward, the church itself contributed to the worst spasm of iconoclasm in the history of Christendom. The past had to be destroyed” (Dougherty, B. 2015). This seems to me, to be woefully dramatic. If it is nothing, it reads like a call to arms for the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX). The problem with getting entrenched on a single argument, say, a return to a Latin Mass, you largely dismiss the mission of the Church and you lose your seat at the table.
This mode of thinking bleeds into all areas, and here we are with the Synod on the Family; entrenched on one single argument – Annulments. What did the pope say on annulments?
“The annulment process needed reform because with automatic appeals there were processes that lasted 10-15 years.The annulment process does not dissolve a marriage, but rather investigates whether or not a valid sacramental marriage was present from the beginning”.
It comes back to the answering the question or juridical or doctrinal, and despite the insistence to the contrary by the author, if you arrive at the belief that it is merely juridical, you are not being unfaithful, or legitimizing unfaithfulness.
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