Tuesday, June 28, 2016

"A deep dread" - Brexit and Pope Francis's Synod

The underground correspondent we keep on retainer in an Atlantic seaboard city that knows how to keep its secrets, Guy Noir - Private Eye, just sent me an email, of all things, rather than a message by carrier pigeon. The subject line carried the words: "Crowns, halos, and 'convergence[s] around a new consensus.'" Hmmmmm ... Okay ....

Then the dreadful words: "A deep dread." What could he mean?

Farther down in his email was a link to an article about which he offered the following prefatory remarks:
This amazes me, for it seems a perfectly materialized example of the liberal reluctance/inability to grasp non-liberal thinking. And of these CRUX-type Catholics' breezy unawareness of the conflation of religion and politics.

For the liberal perspective, lack of compromise or convergence is always bad -- unless, of course, the compromise involves a cause close to the liberal heart. "You won't even discuss it!" is seen as a damning indictment, whereas it is actually an insistence that things will be put on the table, whether the other side wants to compromise or not. It is the same old, "It's the journey, not the destination' thing writ large. "Questions, not answers," versus, "The Way, the Truth, The Life." And depending on which orientation you chose, the Gospels themselves provide material for two rather different religious approaches. Which is evident listening to the homilies of the Pope.
The article Mr. Noir was referencing was a new piece by Austen Ivereigh entitled, "What Brexit Britain could have learned from Pope Francis's synod" (CRUX, June 23, 2016). Lord, have mercy; here's what he wrote (emphasis Noir's):
Now I know why I felt a deep dread when the British prime minister, David Cameron, announced an in-out European Union referendum. Britain, the third most powerful country in Europe and the fifth largest economy in the world, has voted by a thin majority to leave, dealing the EU a massive blow....

This Referendum should never have been called. Rather than enabling a solution to real problems, it has divided our nation, forcing an artificial polarization that has ended in a disastrous outcome.

Imagine if, rather than call a two-year synod to deliberate on the issue, Pope Francis back in October 2014 had simply asked the Catholic bishops to vote on Cardinal Walter Kasper’s Orthodox-inspired proposal for a pathway back to the Eucharist for the divorced and remarried.

And imagine if, after a couple of weeks of debate, they were given a ballot paper that asked for a straight “yes” or “no”.

Here’s what would have happened. Rather than leading to a majority consensus reflected in a new, more pastoral approach to marriage and family, the church hierarchy would have descended into an ugly tribal shouting-match ending in bitter division and frustration....

Fortunately for the Church, that’s not what happened. However tense the process, the synod never polarized, and a third possibility emerged that produced a new, pastoral flexibility without eroding doctrine. [Noir: But of course it did trigger erosion of doctrine, every bit as much as Vatican II. In fact, the word choice alone gives away the game. Erosion is gradual and does not happen during an event. It is not 'produced' but 'caused.' The distinction is one a liberal mind is liable to pass over.]

... Francis, the master of Ignatian spiritual discernment [Noir: LOL! Yes, and St. John Paul II "the Great," and whatever superlative admirers are currently assigned to Ronald Reagan], knew that if the synod split and both sides grew further apart, it was a sign that the Devil had the ball; but that if convergence around a new consensus were built, the Good Spirit was in play....




Add this to the mix...




And also this