I spent several hours yesterday watching videos of bishops commenting on the synod. Robert Arroyo did a "World Over" video featuring Cardinal Dolan and Archbishops Salvatore Cordileone and Joseph Kurtz at the bishops' conference last November asking about the Extraordinary Synod.. Cardinal Dolan's portion had me shaking my head. Despite all the comments by Synod Fathers concerned about the manipulation of the Synod and expressing worry and alarm, Cardinal Dolan was his happy-clappy self. No problems at the Synod. "There must have been two synods." he quipped to his brother bishops. There were no major disagreements. The one the four Americans attended was "a synod of consensus."
Wow! I wonder why Cardinal Burke is "worried," why Cardinal Napier said the damage from the mid-term release was "irredeemable." Why Archbishop Chaput lamented the confusion saying "Confusion is from the devil." and Bishop Athanasius Schneider described the mid-term document as a text that "represent a radical neo-pagan ideology" which has "penetrated such important levels of the life of the Church."
Arroyo asked about Cardinal Burke's demotion and Dolan affirmed him as a great cardinal. Then he went on to praise Kasper. "There were no bad guys." Kasper is a "gentleman" who doesn't doubt Church teaching. He just wants to be pastoral. "I'd like to think we are all decent guys," Dolan said. Well, me too. I'd like to think it but it's almost fifty years since this naive teenager started college and I've seen a lot of bad stuff go down since then.
I lived through the revolution in the Church after Vatican II (I was 17 and just starting college as Vatican II ended). I remember the impact on my parents. At one point my dad wanted to leave the Church after watching Baltimore's Archbishop William Borders and Fr. Robert Drinan tear down the faith in a Sunday talking heads interview. (Remember Drinan - the pro-abortion Jesuit who was elected to Congress and only resigned to avoid being suspended?)
I remember the butterfly vestments, crepe paper rainbows in the sanctuary, the cracked pot as a Lenten image, holy water fonts filled with sand, nuns transitioning from habits to pearls and pantsuits. Then there were the crazy home Masses where the hostess brought out her wine goblet to use as a chalice and couples Communicated each other and invested each other in stoles as "symbols of our priesthood." For awhile I was as confused as everybody else. How many mortal sins did I commit enabled by all the "good" clerics? Follow your conscience -- I'm okay, you're okay.
If anything saved me it was being a committed pro-lifer. As one of ten children I had good instincts where life was concerned. I loved babies! I saw up close and personal the dissent from Humane Vitae. I argued with priests, seminarians, and laity who thought abortion and contraception were a matter of personal conscience instead of intrinsic evils. When I was teaching Natural Family Planning, I saw the confusion among the couples we taught. I like to think my husband and I helped dispel some of it. I'm forever grateful for the client who called me one morning and said, "I was on my way to hell and NFP saved my life."
When I taught CCD I saw the horrible programs including a series, (Infinity?) that taught students about the "black mass" and had a sexuality book that mentioned Jesus once after Zorba the Greek.
Now exactly how did all that happen, Cardinal Dolan since there are no "bad guys" and all the bishops are "just decent guys." Are there people in hell because of the refusal of all those "good guys" to teach, govern, and sanctify and, instead, confused, abandoned, and scandalized? How did rejection of Church teaching on marriage and sexuality become so widespread? Why do two generations know virtually NOTHING about the faith? Why were all those children sexually abused?
And who exactly wrote the disastrous mid-term report at the Synod and released it to the press before any of the Synod Fathers saw it? What happened to the book sent to all the Synod Fathers refuting the "Kasper proposal?"
Every heresy in the Church began with a man in a Roman collar. Why are bishops calling us to fight for the family in these months before the Ordinary Synod if everything is so hunky-dory?