Church Militant report on final showdown.
After reading the pope's speech at the end of the Synod, I can't disagree with Michael Matt. Once again Pope Francis implicitly condemned those who hold fast to the doctrine and tradition of the Church as people with "closed hearts" who use doctrine as "dead stones to be hurled at others." Well, take a look at the address yourself. I'll just reprint a portion below. But my question for the Holy Father is, "What is this 'eternal newness' in the Church?" More questions in red:
[The Synod was about bearing witness to everyone that, for the Church, the Gospel continues to be a vital source of eternal newness, against all those who would “indoctrinate” it in dead stones to be hurled at others. To whom are you referring, Holy Father? Who's hurling stones? And are you referring to the living dogma as dead stones?
It was also about laying closed hearts, which bare the closed hearts which frequently hide even behind the Church’s teachings or good intentions, in order to sit in the chair of Moses and judge, sometimes with superiority and superficiality, difficult cases and wounded families. Again - to whom are you referring, Holy Father? And is the chair of Moses an evil seat. Was Moses an evil judge? Is that why Jesus appeared with him at the Transfiguration?
It was about making clear that the Church is a Church of the poor in spirit and of sinners seeking forgiveness, not simply of the righteous and the holy, but rather of those who are righteous and holy precisely when they feel themselves poor sinners. Excuse me, Holy Father, but are you saying that those who believe forgiveness requires repentance and a firm purpose of amendment are self righteous?
It was about trying to open up broader horizons, rising above conspiracy theories and blinkered viewpoints, so as to defend and spread the freedom of the children of God, and to transmit the beauty of Christian Newness, at times encrusted in a language which is archaic or simply incomprehensible.... To whom are you referring when you talk about "conspiracy theories" and "blinkered viewpoints?" And what is this "Christian Newness?"
And – apart from dogmatic questions clearly defined by the Church’s Magisterium – we have also seen that what seems normal for a bishop on one continent, is considered strange and almost scandalous for a bishop from another; what is considered a violation of a right in one society is an evident and inviolable rule in another; what for some is freedom of conscience is for others simply confusion. What are these strange and scandalous things of which you speak? And what does "freedom of conscience" allow? And what do you consider as clearly defined questions?
Cultures are in fact quite diverse, and each general principle needs to be inculturated, if it is to be respected and applied. What exactly does this mean? If the Church is one, what are these diversities that enjoy "freedom of conscience" vs. causing confusion? Isn't your talk adding to the confusion surrounding this entire synod?I admit, I find the pope's entire talk ambiguous, confusing, and unclear. It adds more questions to an already baffling papacy that celebrates a "God of surprises" who seems to be changeable. And it opens wide the door to the same kind of confusion that followed Vatican II. May God protect us.