|The Shenandoah Valley seen from Int. 81|
Tuptim: (Who's driving...) Did you know that Interstate 81 has a reputation as one of the most scenic interstates in the country? I love the Shenandoah Valley! It's so pastoral with all the farmland...and the mountains on either side. This year, with all the rain everything is sooooo green. Oh...look at the sheep. Aren't they sweet?
Topsy: Yikes, Tuptim! Look out for that 18 wheeler! You drive like my father-in-law. I had to close my eyes whenever we went somewhere with him! West Virginia has such curvy roads and he always took his half of the road out of the middle, especially when he went around a turn. It was a harrowing experience!
Tuptim: (Laughing...) Hey, I've never been in an accident. The Lord and my guardian angel are on duty.
Topsy: Now, now...watch out for the sin of presumption, girl! I agree about the Valley, though!....It's particularly green and beautiful this year. In fact it feels like a temperate rainforest which should get us in the mood to talk about the Amazon. (Ruefully...) The thunderstorms this summer have been brutal! We had a flood last night in our basement. My husband I spent two hours baling water as it gushed in through a window well. (Thoughtfully ....) I'm not going to complain though. I had a friend in Houston who lost everything during Hurricane Harvey. Her entire neighborhood ended up underwater and it's a ghost town today. Most people moved away.
Tuptim: Wow! How awful. Is she okay?
Topsy: (Nodding...) She's an amazing woman -- tough and resilient. I really admire her. And such a staunch Catholic! When we go to Texas we try to meet up with her. She moved to the Tyler area and is right on our route now. I can just imagine what she thinks of the synod! (Rolls her eyes.)
Tuptim: Speaking of which...what did you think of Part 3 chapter 4?
Topsy: My highlighter was doing triple duty from the start....Listen to this from paragraph 127. (Reads...):
The native peoples have a rich tradition of social organization where authority is rotational and has a deep sense of service. Given this experience of organization, it would be opportune to reconsider the notion that exercise of jurisdiction (power of government) must be linked in all areas (sacramental, judicial, administrative) and in a permanent way to the sacrament of Holy Orders....Tuptim: (Pensively...) Actually, that's nothing new! Liberals have been undermining the priesthood for years, especially here in the U.S. Think of all the priestless parishes with women running things. It's all about removing authority from priests and giving it to women. Just look at the liberal dioceses in our country and the dissent groups promoting priests as sacramental circuit riders while the radical feminist nuns or laywomen run the show. They all want a vocation shortage so they can use it to make the case for women's ordination. And the synod offers one more avenue for promoting the agenda.
Topsy: I agree. They've been moving in this direction for years. Listen to this from paragraph 128:
Geographical distances give rise to cultural and pastoral distances as well; it follows that a “pastoral ministry of visiting” needs to give way to a “pastoral ministry of presence”. This requires the local church to reconfigure in all its dimensions: ministries, liturgy, sacraments, theology and social services.What do you think reconfiguring "ministries, liturgy, sacraments, [and] theology" involves? And don't take your eyes off the road!
Tuptim: Okay, okay... (Looks straight ahead...) Topsy, we know already what the "reconfiguring" involves from past synods. Francis and his buddies want the Church to conform to the world. Reconfiguring means abandoning doctrine so those in invalid marriages or even Protestants can receive Communion. It means married priests and ordaining women -- at least to the diaconate for now. It essentially means anything goes in a "theology" of "pastoral accompaniment." They'll take it as far as they can in this synod with their eyes on the next. Talk about long-range planning for upheaval.
Topsy: Yeah...I was talking to a priest friend the other day and we decided it's revolution by synod. Chapter 4 is where they bring in the suggestion to ordain married men for remote areas and emphasize that they should be from the indigenous culture so that they're preaching to their own communities.
Tuptim: (Shaking her head...) Right! (Cynically...) Not like the bad old days when missionaries came from other countries to spread the faith. It's so damn condescending! And dismissive of our Church missionary history. For generations priests from other countries left their homeland to spread the faith. Especially here in the Protestant East.
Topsy: Exactly! We needed missionaries from other countries to support the faith of the Catholic immigrants and spread the faith among Protestants and the unchurched. One of my favorites is St John Neumann who became the bishop of Philadelphia. He was Bavarian I think, but could speak several languages and learned Gaelic so he could hear the confessions of the Irish. There's a story about an old Irish woman who came out of the confessional and said, "They finally sent us an Irish priest."
Tuptim: (Laughing...) I read his autobiography. He walked almost everywhere because he hated riding horses. He thought nothing about walking ten miles to visit a dying person when he was assigned to New York. Once he was attacked by robbers and was rescued by the local Indians. What a great man! Not like so many of our bishops today. He collapsed on a Philadelphia street and people thought he was a bum because his clothing was so shabby. Can't you just see McCarrick and Bransfield and Wuerl and Cupich walking around their dioceses looking like that?
Topsy: Oh...they'd walk a couple of blocks in the high class restaurant district. But they'd never do anything to get their hand tailored French cuffs dirty! It's pathetic to think about how so many bad bishops deliberately undermined vocations too. Remember all those horrible stories in Good-bye Good Men? The liberal seminary gatekeepers made sure only seminarians who supported women's ordination would be accepted. And if some "rigid" guy made it past the gatekeeper, she'd make sure he never got to ordination.
Tuptim: That's what they used all those psychological tests for -- to weed out normal guys. Some of the perverted stuff that went on in the seminaries was downright evil. I hope that's been changed, but I suspect there's still an undercurrent. After all, in many cases the same guys who covered up the pederast sex abuse scandals are still running the show.
Topsy: Getting back to the missions, it seems to me that the ideal is to bring the faith to mission territory, catechize and evangelize, and then God calls and vocations arise naturally from within the culture. That's the way it's happened throughout Church history. These guys want to skip all that and go to instant ordination of the indigenous people. But where will vocations come from when the model being used for the synod is a mission that doesn't baptize anyone? It's crazy!
|Is the Pan-Amazon Synod a bridge|
too far? Will faithful Catholics
wake up to the face of heresy?
Topsy: (Tapping her chin...) That's exactly what Archbishop Vigano said in an interview with Inside the Vatican a few days ago. I brought it. (She finds the article and takes it out of her notebook...) Here's what he says:
Let's consider the history of the Jesuits. That is something I am studying now with great care. In fact, if you would like to know the synthesis of my thought, it is this: What we are now seeing is the triumph of a 60-year-old plan, the successful execution of a well-thought out plan to bring a new sort of thinking into the heart of the Church, a thinking rooted in elements of Liberation Theology containing strands of Marxism, little interested in traditional Catholic liturgy or morality or theology, but rather focused on "praxis" in the field of social justice. And now this plan has achieved one of its supreme goals, with a Jesuit on the See of Peter.Tuptim: That's chilling...and it makes me feel a little sick. (Pulling into the Natural Bridge parking lot...) I'm glad we're at Natural Bridge. Let's get a coke and go down to the path. They have lots of benches and we can keep reading there while we eat. I brought a picnic.
Topsy: Great...I'm hungry and need a walk after that long ride. Let's go!
To be continued....