The Spectator Sees The Best of the Game

The Spectator Sees The Best of the Game

Divorce and remarriageI am a divorced and remarried Catholic. I attend Mass every week. When my children want me to take them up to Holy Communion, I walk along behind them and cross my arms over my breast. My youngest is particularly keen on going up for a blessing, although he wants to know when he can get ‘the bread’. I say, ‘When you understand why it isn’t “the bread”.’

It has never occurred to me to present myself for Communion when I have not sought — for various reasons that I won’t discuss here — to have my first marriage annulled. I know I am not a good Catholic, and I am living a life that the Church considers to be adulterous. Yet I am in good spirits, as I hope in God’s mercy. But I do not presume upon it. My Catechism says that is a further mortal sin, as would be the unworthy reception of Holy Communion.

People in my state are explicitly encouraged, in the Catechism, to attend church, and to make a spiritual communion, as I do each week. I have the hope that one day I will be in a state of grace and able to receive Holy Communion again. I hope that, despite my ongoing sin, God nonetheless hides me in the shadow of his wings; that Mary, hope of sinners, has her cloak of mercy cast about me. I am a poor Catholic but I am also a believing Catholic. Yet there is a faction within the Church that evidently considers ‘believing Catholic’ to be a hopelessly old-fashioned clique that they must get shot of, alongside lace mantillas and kneeling at the Communion rail.

Holy Communion, for most of the bishops of England and Wales, appears to have become Protestant by default. Instead of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist — a presence we should tremble to receive at the best of times — Communion is now a sign, a symbol, a mere shared meal, an ‘expression of community’.

Next week an Extraordinary Synod of Catholic bishops, summoned by Pope Francis, will meet to discuss the family. Catholic reformers are full of hope that, under his guidance, the bishops will liberalise the Church’s teaching on divorced and remarried Catholics. The liberal Tablet magazine devoted a cover story to the subject. It filled me with dismay. The article began by quoting Cardinal Walter Kasper, the leading liberal cardinal: ‘The church’s blanket ban on divorced and remarried Catholics receiving Communion…’.

Where to start? The Church does not ban anybody from receiving Communion other than non-Catholics (and there may be exceptions) and those too young to understand what they are receiving. Rather, nobody may receive God in the Eucharist in a state of mortal sin. Even before I remarried, and I use the term in a legal sense, since I cannot sacramentally remarry, I did not always present myself for Communion. Often I would be in a state of serious sin and had not found the time or organised myself enough to go to confession. The fact is that nobody in a state of serious sin — whatever that sin may be, in this case, adultery — is able to receive Christ worthily. To receive him unworthily is to commit a further mortal sin.

The Tablet article was called ‘The Case for Mercy’ and, reading it, I felt like pleading for us suckers who actually believe the basics: sin, confession, absolution, the Real Presence and the like. What Cardinal Kasper appears to want to do is to tempt a generation of people into weekly mortal sin. How is that merciful? How is that helping? Is it impossible for liberal theologians to combine their reforming fervour with actual logic? Allow a divorced and remarried person to receive Holy Communion and you are saying one of two things: either that it is not adulterous to have sex outside the marital bond, or that one may harmlessly receive the Most Holy Eucharist while in an ongoing state of mortal sin — a sin one firmly intends to commit again as soon as convenient.

There is no way that either of those things can be true, and the Church’s teaching be true. If sin doesn’t matter, what was the point of the Crucifixion? Why did Christ not stop with a ‘community meal’ on Maundy Thursday and skip that whole bothersome deal the next morning?

There are ways that those civilly divorced and remarried can be admitted to Holy Communion. Make it easier for them to obtain a declaration of nullity. Here is an area where the Church could be more sympathetic, could grant dispensations and exemptions in matters of process. The power of ‘radical sanation’ — granted for various reasons — to make a marriage whole could also be administered more often. That power does actually exist. Where the Church can legitimately change is in matters of tradition and practice — but not doctrine or dogma. Here, we sinners are protected from the human failings of individual priests and bishops by the infallibility of the Church. Some traditionalists protested when altar girls were permitted; I remember asking in one forum if the Bishop had the right to do this (yes), then if it had been done to say it was wrong was — equally as much as in the other direction — to say the Church was wrong.

Theologically, the Church is like a giant tower in Jenga; pull out one brick and you topple all the others. We cannot admit that sex outside marriage isn’t adulterous, nor can we say that mortally sinful people can receive Holy Communion. But we can look harder at the powers given to the Church to declare and discern when somebody is in a state of sin or where, for genuinely merciful reasons, a union can be made whole, by powers already granted to our bishops by the Holy Spirit.

Nothing will ever persuade me to receive Holy Communion in a state of grievous sin, unless for a serious reason. I once did so, when I discovered that a Protestant at my sister’s wedding had approached the priest, taken the Host and put it into his pocket. The poor priest hesitated but the man had walked away. He was foreign and hadn’t understood. I went to find him at the reception and he said ‘I didn’t want to interrupt the line’. I asked if I could have the Host from his pocket, I made a quick act of adoration and contrition and I ate it, despite being at that time not fit to receive. It seemed the lesser of two evils, and certainly that was my intent. I believe that under the circumstances, it was valid to consume the Host (although I am not sure). One day I hope to do so again. But I understand that the Church, while it strives to emphasise mercy, cannot do so by encouraging sin. Communion is not, as the Tablet journalist I Twitter-debated this with said, just ‘for the saints’, that is true. But nor is it, as he put it, ‘a help for the journey.’ It is the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. However unfashionable that may be, it remains true.  Source

This article first appeared in the print edition of The Spectator magazine, dated 4 October 2014


This is an interesting insight, is it not, straight from one of the horses’ mouths, so to speak. Share your thoughts on the above article, which I think, by any yardstick, is an important contribution to the “debate” on a key topic of the forthcoming Synod on the Family. There’s an old saying, the onlooker (spectator) sees the best of the game. I think that is very true in this case – what do you think?

Comments (53)

  • TLM

    Wow, this person is living a much more Catholic life than a good number of our Bishops. I don’t know what the answer is to her/his dilemma. So far she/he is adhering to the faith in the proper manner. Why doesn’t she seek annulment? I guess she has her reasons, but it just may be that the first marriage really WAS NOT valid…..who really knows? And she will never know unless she pursues it. Very sad case, but her heart is a Catholic heart. I will pray a Divine Mercy Chaplet for her.

    October 4, 2014 at 5:56 pm
    • Petrus

      Well, I agree and disagree with TLM . She certainly is more respectful of Catholic teaching regarding Holy Communion than many others, but she has a complete disregard for the Church ‘s teaching on Marriage. So, I don’t know if I would go so far as to say she has a “Catholic heart”. Maybe she does. I don’t know. But she got herself into her current predicament, so I’m not sure.

      I agree that it is a very important contribution. It shows that despite this persons irregular lifestyle, she still has some sense of absolute Truth. However, there really shouldn’t be a debate at all. The Church’s teaching on the Sacrament of Marriage and reception of Holy Communion cannot change.

      October 4, 2014 at 6:46 pm
      • Therese


        I can’t agree that she has a “complete disregard for the Church’s teaching on Marriage”. It seems to me that she has a very clear regard for it. She recognises the seriousness of her position, doesn’t seek to defend it, and is aware of the impossibility of receiving Holy Communion whilst she remains in that position. She does not complain that this is unfair; she accepts the justice of it, and goes so far as to publicly defend the Church’s stance. I hope and pray that she will receive the time and grace to regularise her position and return to full communion. God bless her for her stance in this matter.

        October 4, 2014 at 9:06 pm
      • Petrus

        If she did have proper regards she would rectify her situation . She should never have remarried in the first place. She is clearly well informed.

        I agree, God bless her stance on receiving Holy Communion but she remains in an irregular situation . If a heretic acknowledged they were a heretic, but refused to recant of their heresy we wouldn’t be admiring them. Why gush over someone just because they have acknowledged they are in a state of mortal sin?

        October 4, 2014 at 9:14 pm
      • Therese

        I don’t think anyone’s gushed so far, Petrus – I know I haven’t. I do admire her honesty and am grateful that she has set out the Church’s position so lucidly. If she had a complete disregard for the Church’s teaching on Marriage she would have no hesitation in receiving Holy Communion.

        October 4, 2014 at 9:46 pm
      • Nicky


        I suppose you could say the same thing about the Publican in the parable of the Tax Collector. Instead of standing there beating his breast and admitting he was a sinner, he should have stopped the sinning.

        October 4, 2014 at 9:47 pm
      • Petrus


        The problem I have is that she has done nothing more than acknowledge her sinful situation and reiterated her acceptance of the consequences. Yes, it’s good she is speaking publicly and good she is respected the teaching on Holy Communion, but she is a public sinner and isn’t showing any kind of indication that she will change her ways.

        I think it’s a very interesting article and it’s good to discuss it, but she is persisting in her sin.

        October 4, 2014 at 10:16 pm
      • TLM

        None of us that are discussing this woman’s situation have the foggiest idea of her in depth circumstances. She doesn’t go into detail. I am not saying that her 2nd marriage is not wrong in God’s eyes, it certainly is, and no she, nor anyone in this situation should receive communion. What I am saying is that she is not so blinded by her sin, that she doesn’t even recognize this. There are many people in this situation that claim to be Catholic people, and want the Church to affirm them in their sin. There are also many who are in irregular unions that receive Holy Communion anyway regardless, and there are many Priests and Bishops all to happy to accommodate them. They are so blinded by sin and pride and self righteousness, that they actually think the Church is at fault and that Jesus didn’t really mean what he said.

        We need to pray for people like this, to be able to some day regularize their situation, so that they are fully in line with Church teaching, and able to approach the Lord’s table in full Communion with Him and His Church. This woman has absolutely been given the grace to get to this point in her conversion. Without this grace, she would be singing a different tune. The Lord is pursuing her, and KNOWS exactly the details of her situation. We Do Not. Although what is coming out of the likes of Cardinal Kasper and other misguided Cardinals is not at all mercy but is license, this situation does indeed call for mercy AND counseling from a solid prelate who can help her take the necessary steps to regularize her state in life. It’s hard to really judge what is going on with her when we don’t really know. We can all see the black and white, the right and wrong of it by the details she DOES give, however, no one can say what’s in her heart, and no one knows how and why she got into this. Judging hearts, my friends, is reserved for God alone. I tend to give her the benefit of the doubt since she is not blaming anyone but herself, however God is the only one to really KNOW what is in her heart, and how she arrived in this situation.

        To tell you the truth, I hold the Church responsible TO SOME EXTENT for some of these irregularities after what came out of Vat ll, and the aftermath. Catechesis was NON EXISTENT for quite some time. Yes, of course, each individual is responsible for the seeking and knowledge of Church teaching for their own salvation, but there were Bishops and Parish Priests that were not only NOT upholding true Church Doctrine, but teaching and preaching the opposite. I know this from PERSONAL EXPERIENCE. Some of them were preaching and teaching exactly what is now coming out of the mouths of the heretics in the Church. ‘Love and Mercy’ is all there is in the eyes of God, is what they said then, and what they are still saying. Parents that taught their children the truth of the Church were being undermined by the wolves…..BIG TIME. Poor parents, at one time, were totally alone in trying to impart the true faith to their children not only with no support from the Church, but actually being fought by the Church. Not going into detail, I could tell you stories that would make your hair stand up on end. Only by God’s wonderful grace have a good number of Catholics been awakened from their blindness to God’s truth in His Church, by divine intervention alone, and no help even as of yet from the Church.

        October 5, 2014 at 1:12 pm
  • Burt

    I tweeted an approving message to her yesterday on Twitter because she was spot on in her respect for doctrine, while acknowledging her mistakes.

    She has far more respect for the Blessed Sacrament than many high ranking clergy and that will be something Our Lord will bless her for.

    Meanwhile the silly goose sucks up to Muslims and retweets pathetic messages from Muslims how Isis is nothing to do with Islam…How do you say it Ed? Gimmeabreak?

    October 4, 2014 at 7:47 pm
  • Burt

    opps gerragrip! I should say

    October 4, 2014 at 7:48 pm
  • della

    this lady understands the precepts of the Catholic faith,I admire her for not being a hypocrite also listening to her conscience.We believe in the mercy of God so keep going to mass and receiving all the blessings

    October 4, 2014 at 10:05 pm
    • Margaret Mary


      I agree. It’s that attitude which should be put to Cardinal Kasper and Pope Francis. They should be encouraging people to keep going to Mass and offer a spiritual Communion and to rectify their situation as soon as possible.

      There are people who live together as brother and sister because they have a family and can’t live separately, and they (after Confession) are free to receive Holy Communion, but until then, they should not do so.

      The author of the article stands out from all the others getting publicity right now because she is not justifying her sin. That is why her contribution is so important IMHO.

      October 4, 2014 at 10:17 pm
    • Petrus


      I agree to a certain extent, but it is only good to listen to our conscience if our conscience is informed. She is a public sinner and presumably her “conscience” told her it was fine to remarry!

      October 4, 2014 at 10:18 pm
  • Crossraguel

    Certainly a very incisive perspective, probably the moreso for the inherent contradiction Petrus alludes to. I’d challenge Cardinal Kasper to attempt a reconciliation of his ‘pardon’ in place of repentance and forgiveness to such an informed, if wayward soul. I’d elaborate to say a chaste Catholic and children from a failed marriage would require the greater ‘persuasion’. As usual, The Remnant has a good analysis:

    Certainly in periods of tribulation I have always followed the Church’s advice to go to Mass regardless of state of grace, and presume avoiding an encounter with one’s maker of a Sunday would at least prolong if not make indefinite a state of serious sin. We may pray that she will receive grace to rectify her situation, something unworldly but in the gift of anyone in such a situation – none of us being more than a good confession away from God’s grace and mercy.

    Please God may the intercession of Our Blessed Lady, St. Joseph, St. Michael, St. Peter & St. Francis grant the mystical body protection from scandal and ambiguity emanating from this synod.

    October 4, 2014 at 10:54 pm
    • Petrus

      Yes, Crossraguel, A contradiction is perhaps A more eloquent way of expressing what I’m trying to say.

      I couldn’t agree more with a lot of what the woman said, but she is very clearly part of the diabolical disorientation.

      October 5, 2014 at 12:25 am
  • Lily

    The thing that bothers me about the article is that the writer speaks as if it is the Church that makes the rules about marriage, she wrote “I am living a life that the Church considers to be adulterous.” She should have said “that Jesus said is adulterous.”

    She also writes about the Church using various solutions such as “radical sanation” which I’d never heard of before. I Googled that but still don’t really understand it because it doesn’t really explain what impediments can be allowed if the priest or bishop sees fit.

    I do agree that she is acknowledging her wrongdoing which is more than the rest of the divorced and remarried who have written about the synod, so that is good.

    October 5, 2014 at 8:29 am
    • Petrus


      You make some important points. I think this thread is absolutely fascinating.

      The one thing that I’ve been thinking about constantly is this: how can a practising Catholic enter into a second “marriage” without submitting to the Church tribunals on marriage? How can they enter into a situation of public scandal?

      I’m not asking how can a Catholic commit sin – I know only too well, unfortunately. However, to enter into a second “marriage” is a different ball game.

      October 5, 2014 at 8:55 am
      • Therese


        Because she is, like the rest of us, a fallen human. We don’t know her particular circumstances, and all I know is that I have not been tempted in the same way. That is NOT to excuse or minimise the grave sin of adultery; but I do understand human weakness, being human. She admits that she is unable to receive the Sacrament and has publicly stated the justice of the ban; she does not plead for special treatment. God help her and give her the grace to return to Mother Church.

        October 5, 2014 at 6:34 pm
      • Petrus


        Again it is difficult to disagree with you. However this is much more than simply being tempted to commit adultery. She has made a public statement and given public scandal.

        I echo your prayer that she may sort herself out because she deserves have some concept of conscience.

        October 5, 2014 at 6:53 pm
    • Therese

      But Lily, it’s the same thing. The Church IS Jesus, and she recognises that fact, otherwise she would not refrain from receiving Him in Holy Communion.

      October 5, 2014 at 6:29 pm
      • Petrus


        I agree to a certain extent. But, The same thing can be said for Marriage – The Church is Christ and she as abused one of His Sacraments by divorcing and “remarrying”. Therein lies the paradox.

        October 5, 2014 at 6:51 pm
      • Therese


        Aye lad – she acknowledges that she has abused one of His Sacraments, and consequently refrains from receiving Him in Holy Communion. Doesn’t that show that she has a “Catholic heart”? She is relying on God’s mercy to give her the time on earth to rectify her situation. Not advisable, but I do hope and pray that He grants it.

        P.S. Are you trying to imply that “There’s” a place for me????

        October 5, 2014 at 7:44 pm
      • editor


        Laughed at your concluding line and so decided to leave Petrus’s typo, when I was about to correct it. Maybe he hadn’t realised that he’d omitted half of your username! Doesn’t matter since it gives us a bit of fun. Yes, things are that bad. We are relying on Petrus for a laugh. Jings!

        October 5, 2014 at 10:11 pm
  • Desmond Robinson

    An excellent article,calm and with a real serenity. I have no idea of her circumstances and circumstances change. I knew of someone,now dead a few years ago who had a secular “re-marriage” encouraged by him priest. Man,many years later he did some “hunting around” and came to understand that this second marriage was invalid, but when he checked this with a number of his local priests, apart from two,they all told him that “Jesus loves you as you are” and not to worry about receiving our Lord illicitly. He finally did stop. People change.

    October 5, 2014 at 4:40 pm
    • TLM

      Desmond…..this was EXACTLY my point. We have no idea what state of awareness her conscience was in at the time she ‘remarried’, nor do we know the state of her soul. She could very well have had an ‘awakening’ when it was far too late to rectify anything. The state that we find the clergy in our Church today is nothing short of desolate in many, many of them. If she hadn’t already had proper catechesis while growing up, and not only from her parents, but from the Church as well, how can that not be rectified with the proper steps? It may just be a MIRACLE that she knows enough to stay away from Communion until her situation changes.

      One of the Deacons in my Parish actually calls the young adults today ‘The Lost Generation.’ They either had bad catechesis, had been taught actual heresy, or no catechesis at all, not only from Parents, but from the CHURCH. The ‘Spirit of Vat ll’ was a devastation beyond anything imaginable. I am terrified that this Synod is 1962 ALL OVER AGAIN! They are now out to destroy the Church TOTALLY. (although they will NOT because we can trust that ‘the gates of Hell will not prevail’)

      Here is yet another question: How far and wide might this poor soul have to look to find a Priest who she could trust to take her through proper steps? Just as Jesus said…..’Will I find any faith on earth, when I return?’ His poor Church is looking pretty desolate even now.

      October 5, 2014 at 7:55 pm
      • editor


        The author of the Spectator article seems knowledgeable enough to know what she has to do to rectify her situation. Same as the example set by a couple of our readers some years ago, which they agreed to allow me to report at the time. I wrote up a report, giving pseudonyms, (I think Phil and Jane…) and we let the facts speak for themselves. Here are the facts …

        Phil was divorced (although a Catholic) and his wife was still alive when he set up home with Jane and children were born. As the years passed, both of them became troubled in conscience and eventually decided to stop living as husband and wife. Since they still had children living at home, they explained the situation – part of their troubled conscience arose from giving their teenage children bad example. So they understood that mum and dad were no longer going to be living as husband and wife, although sharing the home.

        The wife went to Confession to tell her priest that she wanted to be able to receive Holy Communion again and so she and her “husband” were going to refrain from the marriage act. The priest told her that wasn’t necessary. This – as it happened – became the wife’s rude awakening to the crisis in the Church. She was appalled. She rounded on the priest and told him that it was necessary, and that both Phil and she felt much better since making the decision. The next newsflash about that unconscionable priest was that he abandoned the priestly ministry, although the rumour mongers are not sure whether he set up home with a man or a woman. Could be either, apparently.

        To this day, that couple live as brother and sister in a happy home with their young adult children who are both practising the Faith.

        I presume that that’s all Louise Mensch (wasn’t she once a Tory MP? As if being divorced and “remarried” isn’t bad enough!) needs to do to rectify her situation.

        Be that as it may, it really is good to have The Spectator article on tap as a response to the constant refrain coming from the “liberals” that the bad ole Church is wickedly punishing them for the crime of loving their (current) spouse. Plonkers.

        October 5, 2014 at 10:04 pm
      • TLM

        People have been told HORRENDOUS untruths from their Priest and sometimes their Bishop. I was hopeful that Benedict was trying to turn things around, but now……………God help us.

        October 5, 2014 at 10:48 pm
  • Desmond Robinson

    Sorry about typos in my last comment. I should have checked more carefully !

    October 5, 2014 at 4:41 pm
  • pew catholic

    Pew Catholic is about to prophesy!

    The eventual result of the upcoming Synod can be only one thing: a revision of annulment conditions and procedures to help innocent parties, and enable them to receive the sacraments. Probably on a case-by-case basis. It’s the only wiggle-room Pope Francis has got.

    End of prophecy.

    October 5, 2014 at 7:49 pm
    • Athanasius

      Pew Catholic

      Here is my prophecy. If what you prophesy comes true, as I also fear it may, then in no time at all we will have a universal re-run of the scandal that hit the U.S. some time back.

      Some may recall Pope John Paul having to get directly involved in that situation when it emerged that the U.S. Bishops had been so generous with annulments after the Council that they rose from around 700 in 1968 to more than 50,000 by 1995.

      Turns out a great majority of these annulments were invalid. But too late! Thousands of Catholics had gone on to re-marry, or rather to enter into adulterous unions.

      The Church’s liberal bishops are sitting like big crows on a dyke right now hoping that the Synod will open a back door for them to enter and trample the Sacrament of Matrimony under foot in the name of “pastoral sensitivity”. The best back door they can open is the annulment procedure. They will have a field day with that one! What is certain is that there will be no doctrinal front door opened to them. The Holy Ghost will make sure of that.

      October 5, 2014 at 8:34 pm
      • Petrus

        “Big crows on a dyke”. I love it!!!

        October 6, 2014 at 8:21 am
      • TLM

        True, thank the dear Lord, no doctrine will be altered in any way, but does Pope Francis or any of his modernist Cardinals really care about doctrine? To them, I fear it’s just a means to an end. Yes they keep talking about ‘doctrine’s ever flowing ‘interpretation’ …….blah, blah, blah, but as long as they can get around it by using their ‘Pastoral Approach’ they can just bypass doctrine altogether. That’s why all these Cardinals keep saying that the Church’s stance on Communion for the divorced with NOT CHANGE. Of course it won’t…………….not officially it won’t. They plan on just bypassing doctrine altogether, and continue on the road of persecuting traditional Bishops, orders, etc. until they have the kind of ‘Church’ they envision. Don’t know if anyone read the working document leading up to this Synod, but they are also according to Cardinal Baldessirri (sp?) going to look at the ‘reinterpretation’ of natural law. I’m sure this is to accommodate gay couples. Don’t know how far that will get but, there it is, I read it on the Vatican website.

        October 6, 2014 at 10:26 am
  • Theresa Rose

    This is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says about the Sacrament of marriage.

    I find myself agreeing with Crossraguel says in his post earlier. I also pray that he/she receives the grace to rectify his/her position. Perhaps a reminder about going to Our Lady and pray the Rosary.

    October 5, 2014 at 8:15 pm
  • Theresa Rose

    There is quite a discussion on this link – Occupy Vatican: Bracing for the Synod on the Family.

    The forthcoming Synod are looking for a solution for the divorced and remarried Catholics. It seems to be anything other than continuing with the Dogmas and teaching of the Catholic Church.

    October 6, 2014 at 4:24 pm
  • Margaret Mary

    Theresa Rose,

    That priest at the beginning is a complete disgrace but may be typical of his age group. Thank God the younger priests are returning to Tradition.

    I haven’t listened to the whole discussion yet but so far so good. I’m looking forward to the rest of it.

    October 6, 2014 at 4:33 pm
  • Theresa Rose

    Margaret Mary,

    I had meant to mention the priest at the beginning, and yes he is a complete disgrace. He talks of chaos. But the chaos has stemmed from Vatican II. How many souls have been lost since that time?

    Christopher Ferrara and Michael Matt discuss the the eventual synod on the Family, and is a link, at least I think it is a link to this thread.

    October 6, 2014 at 5:06 pm
    • Josephine

      Theresa Rose,

      That video is definitely well linked to this thread. Thanks for posting it. The priest is one of the ageing hippy types, thankfully they are dying out.

      October 6, 2014 at 9:35 pm
  • Crossraguel

    According to The Telegraph Pope Francis has decreed that the synod will not be conducted in Latin:

    With notable exceptions, one suspects that relative competence in Latin may be an inverse measure of a progressive disposition towards doctrine.

    October 6, 2014 at 8:43 pm
    • Josephine

      That is terribly sad about the dropping of Latin for the synod. This pope really does hate all things traditional. I’m shocked and saddened at this news.

      October 6, 2014 at 9:33 pm
  • westminsterfly

    Has anyone seen Daily Telegraph blogger Cristina Odone’s recent articles on this subject – latest offering here:- She married a divorcee and also dissents about same-sex ‘marriage’ and a variety of other Church teachings. Needless to say, she is a Big Pope Francis fan . . .

    October 6, 2014 at 9:05 pm
    • Josephine

      Cristina Odone keeps on about divorce being the problem when the problem is divorce and remarriage. She is always so self-pitying and her arguments are the typical superficial ones. It’s a pity to see the Pope using them as well!

      October 6, 2014 at 9:34 pm
    • gabriel syme

      I saw that article; Odone has no credibility whatsoever. As Josephine says, her arguments are always very superficial and typically have her own desires as their central plank.

      I used to have a measure of respect for her, but it is remarkable how fast she has changed her opinions following the election of Francis. Not only does she not respect Church teaching about remarriage and divorce, but she also “changed her mind” about the nonsense of “gay marriage” – claiming it was Vladimir Putins behaviour wrt homosexuals which prompted the change.

      (In reality, it was so she could better fit in with the rest of the chattering luvvies in their expensive london wine bars).

      See? Not a scrap of credibility. Far from being a defender of the Church, she is as superficial and self-interested as any Catholic you will meet in the Novus Ordo pews.

      October 7, 2014 at 9:39 am
  • editor

    Let’s hope the Pope doesn’t give these lobbyists a warm welcome at the Synod. Nothing, but nothing would surprise me.

    October 7, 2014 at 9:24 am
    • gabriel syme

      Editor, from the link, it mentions:

      those who work for LGBT equality in the Church

      Which shows how deluded these people are.

      That homosexual behaviour is intrinsically disordered is a biological reality, it is not something people can “work to change”.

      But then, people who openly champion such harmful misuses of the human body are likely to have little use for reality.

      October 7, 2014 at 9:42 am
  • gabriel syme

    Fr Z reports on a Cardinal Burke interview:

    As part of the discussion, Burke comments on defective catechesis and how “Children and young people are not well catechized with regard to marriage”.

    It is an excellent point; the first time I heard the Church teaching wrt marriage was actually during my marriage preparation class, aged 34 – which is just ridiculous.

    Most young people do not hear the Church speak about marriage at all, until these classes their late 20s / early 30s – and this is decades after secular society has been allowed to fully form their conscience on the matter, and likely years after they have become sexually active.

    This state of affairs is all down to the various incompetents who masquerade as Bishops in the modern era.

    I am reassured by Cardinal Burke and sincerely hope it is his “side” which prevails at the synod.

    However, I don’t like it that the synod format (media blackout) has all the personal hallmarks of Francis – i.e secrecy, authoritarianism, favouritism and gerrymandering.

    October 7, 2014 at 9:52 am
  • Athanasius

    Today being the Feast of the Most Holy Rosary (Oct 7), we can perhaps offer our rosaries to Our Lady for a good outcome to this Synod. The Blessed Mother won’t be long in putting matters right!

    October 7, 2014 at 10:19 am
    • TLM

      That’s for sure. God will not be mocked. Cardinal Burke talks about poor catechesis on marriage……..there has been virtually NO catechesis since Vat ll. It has either been (like I have said before) no real catechesis or bad catechesis. They pretty much lead the sheep to slaughter. Only by God’s good grace has the enlightenment with some happened. Jesus is true to His word……’The gates of hell shall not prevail’ And now that we had just barely begun to turn the corner, they are out to totally destroy the Church.

      They of course will not even attempt to formally tweak doctrine or declare a new dogma, they will ‘skirt’ the true teaching of the Church by means of ‘Pastoral Mercy’.

      October 7, 2014 at 11:27 am
  • Athanasius

    No formal opposition to the Church’s moral teaching will come from this Synod, that’s guaranteed. The Holy Ghost will not permit such a thing to happen, just as He did not permit it to happen in the 1960s under Paul VI when a similar attempt to overturn infallible teaching was launched. What a shock the hippies got at that time when Paul VI issued Humanae Vitae against all their hopes and expectations. It will be the same on this occasion. But, as we know, that may not stop a faithless bishop or two betraying the Church’s teaching within their own dioceses, ambiguously citing the Synod to confirm souls in their sins. Or, as St. Paul would put it, using their liberty as a cloak for malice!

    October 7, 2014 at 12:20 pm
    • TLM

      Bishop or two? There seems to be more dissenting Bishops in the Church of Christ than people realize. What formally comes out of the Synod is almost secondary. It’s the ‘spirit’ of the Synod that will cause such damage, just as in Vat ll. Herein lies the problem. But….I hope and pray you are correct in that Pope Francis will stand on truth and proclaim truth to the world. At this point, however, it doesn’t look promising. Our God is a God of miracles………………..pray for a MIRACLE.

      October 7, 2014 at 2:17 pm
  • Margaret Mary


    I know that what you say is true but the fact is there is a lot of talk about “re-interpreting” Scripture and so on, as the liberals are determined to get something out of this synod. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if there is even more confusion after it than before.

    October 7, 2014 at 1:42 pm
    • Margaret Mary

      I meant to add that I know it won’t come in the form of a formal papal announcement but somehow there will be the impression given that the liberals have won the day.

      October 7, 2014 at 1:43 pm
  • Therese

    They’ll do it via the back door, as usual. It will SEEM as though the Church has changed its teaching. The Church must be “compassionate”, = accepting of sin; we must not have “closed minds” = be open to everything and everyone; we must “love the sinner” = accept the sin. The only moral judgement we should make is of ourselves = we must root out our small-mindedness and inherent bigotry. WE are the problem. The media will continue to lap it up. Before long it will be illegal and disgusting to think, never mind act, as a Catholic.

    Unfortunately, Athanasius, there is more than just “a faithless bishop or two”, and they will continue to wield their whips on the Body of Christ. Satan has not found it necessary to change his method of attack over time; we are easy pickings without the protection of Our Blessed Lady.

    October 7, 2014 at 1:47 pm
    • Athanasius

      Margaret Mary & Therese

      The very fact that this Synod has no doctrinal standing in the Church will not prevent faithless bishops like Cardinal Kasper & Co from trying to give it an authority it does not merit. From that point of view you are both right to fear that between these deceivers and the godless media the impression may well be given that the Church has changed her moral teaching.

      The reality, however, is that the Church can never change her teaching and so this Synod, whatever it says, will be relatively insignificant. Still, it is galling to have to watch this Pope and his fellow liberals casting doubt on the Church’s teaching, even to the extent of daring to introduce the erroneous idea that only parts of the Sacred Scriptures are guaranteed inerrancy. That novelty is pure heresy long condemned by the Magisterium.

      Ultimately, though, their plans to turn Our Lord’s Church into a purely human institution will fail, as all such assaults on holiness and virtue have failed in the past. Our Lady will triumph as she promised, we need make no mistake about that.

      October 7, 2014 at 2:24 pm

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