Saturday, September 20, 2014

How I Expect the Reactions to the Synod to Pan Out

I don't fear that the upcoming synod on the family will teach error. In matters of faith and morals, God will not permit the Church to teach errors when it comes to salvation.

What I do suspect is that people who have been led to expect the impossible (the Church permitting remarriage after divorce) will feel "betrayed" when the Church does not change her teaching, 

Meanwhile, conservative Catholics will blame the Pope and the synod for causing the rejection of Church teaching.

At the same time, I suspect we'll see people on both sides twisting the words of the synod and whatever Post-Synod exhortation the Pope should happen to write to justify their own disobedience.

Why do i think this? Because it has happened before in 1968, when some Catholics were misled into thinking that the Church was going to reverse her position on contraception . . . when the Church had no intention of changing that teaching. There was a good deal of rebellion in response, and opponents of the Pope and Council blamed them for the rebellion.

Let's be clear. The synod is not about changing Church teaching. It's about reaching out to minister to Catholics who have managed to end up in opposition to Church teaching. Even though these Catholics cannot receive the Eucharist while persisting in grave sin, they are still part of the Church and need to be ministered to.

The smart, prudent thing to do is to remember that the Church is not going to change Church teaching to contradict herself. Misunderstandings are not going to be the fault of the Pope and Bishops.  But they're going to be blamed by both sides.

Now is the time to remember to pray for the synod and for those people whose choices have put them at odds with the Church.

Now is NOT the time to panic or bash the magisterium.

But that is what I suspect will happen.

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