The Vatican is undergoing a synod to discuss the topic of the 'family'. At the opening of the synod, a top Vatican official - Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith - declared that he was not only gay but had a long term same sex partner. He was fired for not adhering to the discipline of priestly celibacy. His statements however have caused many to remember the media-alleged reason the previous pope, Benedict XVI, resigned from his position. The Vatican rumour mill at the time claimed that the Vatican gay lobby had ousted him, and wanted to appoint the man who is now known as Pope Francis, to replace him.
Benedict XVI, of course, before he became pope, was instrumental in the creation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and was one of the bishops at Vatican II. He gained the nickname of 'God's Rottweiler' for his insistence on obedience to the dogmas of the Catholic church.
Butler's Lives of Saints, an old Catholic work, refers to the Catholic religion as the 'ancient religion', a reference to the founding tenant of that faith, that dogma cannot change, and that the church of Jesus' time, is the church of today. Part of that core of beliefs, centres around the provision of communion bread, which the early apostles taught, was only to be given to those who adhered to the gospel which they had preached. In the biblical letters the apostles wrote, they go so far as to claim that their readers should reject even their own statements if they contradicted what they had said originally. Taking communion while in a state of so-called mortal sin, was compared to re-crucifying Christ by early Christians. Among the other older Christian religions other than Catholicism, which do not have concepts such as mortal and venial sin, these still have sins that warrant a person not taking communion until they engage in a ritual known as confession.
Vatican English Language attache, Father Thomas Rosica, earlier this month, said that the synod fathers are supportive of 'an end to exclusionary language' and place 'a strong emphasis on embracing reality.' He states 'we do not pity gay persons but we recognise them for who they are: they are our sons and daughters and brothers and sisters.'
Following this press statement earlier this month, the Archbishop of Chicago Blase Cupich, who was personally invited to the synod by Pope Francis, has also now stated to media that pastors must give communion to homosexual couples, saying that their choice to take communion was from conscience and inviolable. Cupich has been fast tracked to his position as Archbishop of Chicago, and as he states, was personally appointed to the Synod on the Family by Pope Francis.
He also stated:
'In Chicago I visit regularly with people who feel marginalized: the elderly, the divorced and remarried, gay and lesbian individuals and also couples. I think that we really need to get to know what their life is like if we’re going to accompany them' and 'I think that gay people are human beings too and they have a conscience. And my role as a pastor is to help them to discern what the will of God is by looking at the objective moral teaching of the Church and yet, at the same time, helping them through a period of discernment to understand what God is calling them to at that point,” he said. “It’s for everybody. I think that we have to make sure that we don’t pigeonhole one group as though they are not part of the human family, as though there’s a different set of rules for them. That would be a big mistake.”' ('Archbishop Cupich lays out pathway for gay couples to receive Communion at Vatican press scrum ' by John-Henry Westen and Pete Baklinski at Fri Oct 16, 2015 - 11:51 am EST https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archbishop-cupich-lays-out-pathway-for-gay-couples-to-receive-communion)
During Vatican II, the Catholic church dogmatically declared homosexual acts to be sinful, while classing the attraction itself not to be. If the dogma of the church were to change as a result of Pope Francis' synod of the Family and subsequent declarations, it would be an unusual event in the history of the hitherto largely unchanging beliefs of the Catholic church.
Cardinal Sarah, who at the last synod meeting blasted Pope Francis in his opening remarks, arranged for the African bishops to meet in his country prior the Synod, in an attempt to prevent the church from changing its dogma. He has stated to media that he believes that most of the bishops are on his side. Cardinal Napier has expressed similar sentiments. The pro-dogma camp seem convinced that a repeat of the previous meeting, where a group personally placed in their positions by Pope Francis, drafted a document based on the meeting, which bishops later said had sorely misrepresented their statements.
On his trip to the USA, the Pope met briefly with a woman who was imprisoned for refusing to issue documents for gay weddings. The Vatican later stated that that was not an official meeting, and that the only official meeting at that location had been between the pope and a former student who is gay.
Patrick Archbold and a number of other well known traditionalist figures in the blogosphere, recently launched a petition calling the synod a sham and asking any 'faithful' bishops to walk out if it broke from tradition:
'Therefore, we faithfully request that each and every faithful Catholic bishop at the Synod, having made every effort to resist these attacks on Christ’s teaching, if its direction remains unaltered and those faithful voices remain unheard, do his sacred duty and publicly retire from any further participation in the Synod before its conclusion so as to prevent greater scandal and confusion.'('Synod Walkout' by Patrick Archbold et al at Change.org https://www.change.org/p/the-synod-fathers-synod-walkout)
Some traditionalists have begun quoting what they claim to be a quote from a mystic known as Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, which quote sedevacantists often use in their opposition to Vatican II, namely:
'Then I saw that everything that pertained to Protestantism was gradually gaining the upper hand, and the Catholic religion fell into complete decadence. Most priests were lured by the glittering but false knowledge of young school-teachers, and they all contributed to the work of destruction.'
Which comes from a longer passage credited to the mystic, namely:
'Among the strangest things that I saw, were long processions of bishops. Their thoughts and utterances were made known to me through images issuing from their mouths. Their faults towards religion were shown by external deformities. A few had only a body, with a dark cloud of fog instead of a head. Others had only a head, their bodies and hearts were like thick vapors. Some were lame; others were paralytics; others were asleep or staggering.
'I saw what I believe to be nearly all the bishops of the world, but only a small number were perfectly sound. I also saw the Holy Father– God-fearing and prayerful. Nothing left to be desired in his appearance, but he was weakened by old age and by much suffering…
'Then I saw that everything that pertained to Protestantism was gradually gaining the upper hand, and the Catholic religion fell into complete decadence. Most priests were lured by the glittering but false knowledge of young school-teachers, and they all contributed to the work of destruction.
'In those days, Faith will fall very low, and it will be preserved in some places only…'
Pope Francis, himself, is preparing the church for his statements following the synod:
'The Holy Father went on to say that each and everyone has a place in the Church, and that the key to journeying well together is listening. “A synodal Church is a Church of listening,” said Pope Francis. “It is a mutual listening in which everyone has something to learn: the faithful, the College of Bishops, [and the] Bishop of Rome; each listening to the others; and all listening to the Holy Spirit, the ‘Spirit of truth’ (Jn 14, 17), to know what he ‘says to the Churches’ (Rev 2: 7).”
'“The Synod of Bishops,” continued Pope Francis, “is the convergence point of this dynamism – this listening conducted at all levels of Church life,” starting with the people, who “also participate in Christ’s prophetic office” and who have a right and a duty to be heard on topics that touch the common life of the Church. Then come the Synod Fathers, through whom, “[T]he bishops act as true stewards, interpreters and witnesses of the faith of the whole Church, which [they] must be able carefully to distinguish from often shifting public opinion.” In all this, the Successor to Peter is fundamental. “Finally,” explained Pope Francis, “the synodal process culminates in listening to the Bishop of Rome, called upon to speak authoritatively [It. pronunciare] as ‘Shepherd and Teacher of all Christians’: not on the basis of his personal beliefs, but as the supreme witness of the Faith of the whole Church, the guarantor of the Church’s conformity with and obedience to the will of God, to the Gospel of Christ and the Tradition of the Church.”' ('Pope Francis marks 50th anniversary of Synod's institution' Vatican Radio 17th of October 2015 http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2015/10/17/pope_francis_marks_50th_anniversary_of_synods_institution/1179978)
Whether this case of confusion is a case of the notoriously bad Vatican Press officials, who regularly 'clarify' statements, or a case of the direction of the synod being shown, is uncertain. What is known is that the figures who were placed personally into the Synod by Pope Francis, tend to agree with the proposals of Kasper and Marx, that dogma must either change or be ignored in practice. It will be interesting to see where the synod goes from now, and whether or not the synod and its follow-up result in a split like that which occurred after Vatican II, given that opposing forces in the Catholic Church have rarely been so vocal.
Either way, Pope Francis has noted that while he will listen to the synod, it will not be binding on him, rather he will need to be listened to after it, and obeyed. Some think he means to make a from the chair statement after the synod concludes, other simply believe he is stating that whatever the synod decides, he will still make his own voice heard, and it will need to be heard above it. Very Vatican I of him, isn't it? (Vatican I defined Papal infallibility as a doctrine.) As for whether a two millennia old Church will de facto or - per the change camp - dogmatically change its views on sex and reproduction and on whether it is sinful for communion to be taken when in 'mortal sin'... we the spectators wait with baited breath.