Bruno Forte is evidently the front man for the revolutionary faction, but the orthodox counter-offensive weighed in on Thursday: "such a day had never happened before, not even at Vatican II" (RC, October 17, 2014).
What is noteworthy here is not that orthodox voices will prevail, but that they should meet with such opposition within their own ranks. One can hardly say this is unprecedented, given the long sweep of Church history, but it is certainly noteworthy, to put it mildly.
- A measured response to the Interim Report of the synod by one of my colleagues at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Eduardo Echeverria, "The Synod’s Interim Report: Ambiguity and Misinterpretation" (Crisis Magazine, October 17, 2014).
- In what might seem a brassy title, here's another interesting read by Rev. Dwight Longenecker, "Advice for the Pope in Light of the Synod" (Crisis Magazine, October 14, 2014).
- Artur Rosman, "Synod14: It’s Déjà vu All Over Again!" (Patheos, October 16, 2014):
Even Damon Linker, the usually level-headed religion reporter for The Week and appreciative critic of the truly Machiavellian Catholic Neo-Cons, speculates about the Machiavellian (yes, that’s precisely his phrasing) intentions of Pope Francis to liberalize the Church:
Francis would like to liberalize church doctrine on marriage, the family, and homosexuality, but he knows that he lacks the support and institutional power to do it. So he’s decided on a course of stealth reform that involves sowing seeds of future doctrinal change by undermining the enforcement of doctrine today. The hope would be that a generation or two from now, the gap between official doctrine and the behavior that’s informally accepted in Catholic parishes across the world would grow so vast that a global grassroots movement in favor of liberalizing change would rise up at long last to sweep aside the old, musty, already-ignored rules.
If this is what Pope Francis is going for, I don’t blame conservatives for beginning to express serious misgivings. It’s a brilliant, clever, supremely Machiavellian strategy — one that promises to produce far-reaching reforms down the road while permitting the present pope both to claim plausible deniability (“I haven’t changed church doctrine!”) and to enjoy nearly constant effusive coverage in the secular press.
What’s happening in Rome isn’t yet “revolutionary change.” But it just may be what eventually prepares the way for exactly that.
- Sandro Magister, "The True Story of This Synod. Director, Performers, Assistants" (www.chiesa, October 17 2014).
- And, yes, Jimmy Akin, whose title I just love: "Good news from the Synod of Bishops! 12 things to know and share" (Jimmy Akin, October 15, 2014).
- Dale Price, "The whole world groaned and was amazed to find itself Episcopalian." (Dyspeptic Mutterings, October 13, 2014).
- Dale Price, "Here's why the Synod will likely fail" (Dyspeptic Mutterings, October 15, 2014)
[Hat tip to JM for many of these links]