Glasgow Prepares for Synod 2021-2023 – Beware!editor
Father John Campbell is the priest in charge of the Synod preparations in the Archdiocese of Glasgow. This makes about as much sense as appointing Kim Jong-un to lead a pro-democracy march in Beijing. Think about that, watch the video clip, and read on, to see if you agree.
If you’ve watched the above video carefully, listened closely, you’ll understand why we, each of us, need to keep our critical faculty razer sharp, when listening to contemporary priests. So much talk about prayer, so many tips for praying well, blah blah, and then the quietly delivered heresies – in this case thinly disguised as praise for Our Lady “… [who] despite the stress of single motherhood” [despite not having an important job, being socially unimportant – I paraphrase; scroll to around 11.30 ff to get the exact words] “attracted the attention of God, because of her passion for the divine, and that passion was infectious”.
Given that there is very little mention of Our Lady in the New Testament, I can’t imagine from whence Rev Campbell gets that information – he makes Our Lady sound like a zealous member of the first century equivalent of the Legion of Mary; this is typical modernism, make-it-up-as-you-go-along, we can always use a new Gospel, yet, Fr Campbell has not picked up the much more important facts about Our Lady, which are as follows, using his ABC (our GIM) methodology…
G “I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed; she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.” (Genesis 3:15)
I “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son…” (Isaiah 7:14)
M “And thou, Bethlehem, Ephrata, art a little one among the thousands of Juda: out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be the ruler in Israel: and his going forth is from the beginning, from the days of eternity. Therefore will he give them up even till the time wherein she that travaileth shall bring forth: and the remnant of his brethren shall be converted to the children of Israel. (Micheas 5:2-3)
So, that’s GIM (Old Testament Books: Genesis, Isaiah, Micheas): One hopes that’s clarified things somewhat, because Our Lady wasn’t an afterthought, someone whom God saw and thought “She’ll do nicely, although she’s not quite the right social class, hasn’t got a great job – and she’s unmarried. Pity about that…” As if.
Far from it. Right at the beginning of the world, when our first parents fell prey to the temptation to pride and disobedience when they took it into their silly heads to challenge God’s law, God reveals that Our Lady would crush that same tempter. Whether she looked up, down, sideways, whatever, when the Angel appeared to announce this great privilege to her, is entirely irrelevant. And by the way it’s true – I tell visitors to look up when walking around the city of Glasgow; there is some terrific architecture, Fr Campbell is right about that – and about the cracks and holes in the road. Well, as they say, even a broken clock is right twice a day 😀
It is dispiriting, though, to hear, yet again, the falsehood that Our Lady was an unmarried mother, as if God would DO that – waive aside His own Moral Law to make His Mother look like a sinner. I’ve written on this subject, goodness knows how many times, both in the newsletter and on this blog and I’m not about to repeat myself yet again, except to say that Our Lady and St Joseph were married. According to the Jewish marriage ceremonies at the time, they were technically married. They had completed the first part of the marriage ceremony:
This first stage of marriage is not a preliminary agreement to contract a marriage at a future date (like the western concept of engagement), but an integral component of the two-step marriage process. The betrothal portion is a sort of inchoate marriage; from that point onward, the couple is considered married. Until the second step is taken, however, the bride may not cohabit with the groom (or any other man). In this social suspension that marks the difficult transition from the single life to the married state, the couple is together yet apart. Until the twelfth century, this first stage of marriage lasted up to one year in order to make preparations for the final step. The second stage of the marriage process is the consummation. It is alternatively termed nissuin, meaning elevation of status, from nassa, coming by carriage from the father’s home to the groom’s; or chuppah, wedding canopy. Source – Chabad.org
As I say, I’m not going to repeat myself on the matter of the marriage of Our Lady and St Joseph – they were married. That’s it. Our Lady was not a single mother. I refuse to keep repeating myself. 😀
Having established that Fr John Campbell is no Thomas Aquinas, then, we ought to ask ourselves why on earth he is charged with leading the Synod preparations for the Church in Glasgow. There are a number of reasons why I’m asking myself that same question, but then I have the advantage of having a tad more information to hand than you’ll find up there in that video, with its theological whoppers. Just one example… last time he got a mention in our newsletter (referencing a service in his church some years ago now, he wrote to thank me for the free advertisement! Cheeky!) But, for the purpose of this thread – it’s long enough, already – let’s just read something of what he’s hoping to gain from the pesky Synod. Below, referring to the Synod document, Fr Campbell writes to his brother priests:
Throughout this process these past few months, it’s so blatantly obvious that many of our people are so grateful for the faith they have been given. They appreciate our parishes, they appreciate our schools. And they want better. They care about their parishes, they care about those who do not get the same out of the gift of faith they have, and they are open hearted and open handed and wish them to get from it what they get from it. This document is a huge testimony to the faith of the people of Glasgow. But our faithful people know all is not well – they desire change, not for change’s sake but for the sake of the gospel- and its credibility. Our people want an inclusive church, a dynamic church, an open church. A church involved with the big questions of today, not hiding in a false notion of the past and arguing over minutia.
There is a desirefor development, for growth, for faith, for God. We need to harness this desire at parish level, at school level , at deanery level at diocesan level and at the level of the universal church… When the document was handed to the Archbishop at a beautiful sung Evening Prayer for Corpus Christi in our Cathedral, expertly led by the Saint Mungo’s Singers, Archbishop Nolan reflected on how it’s easy to accept that Jesus is present in the Eucharist (It was Vespers of Corpus Christi) but maybe we are not so used to reflecting on the Holy Spirit dwelling within and working in each other. We have shared and talked, reflected and prayed. Now it time to move with the Spirit’s guidance and continue to walk together as companions on the way guided by the Holy Spirit of God. (Emphasis added).
The actual Synod Document can be read in full on the website of the Archdiocese of Glasgow here but there’s nothing new. It’s the same old, same old, trying to create a Church without sacraments, dogma or discipline. Everybody is to be welcomed. No Law. No rules. Not like my friends’ houses where I have to remove my shoes to preserve that new (who’s kidding who) carpet, and I smoke only if I’m in a hurry to see the other side of the front door without delay. Happily I don’t smoke. I just hope they don’t change the rules about bringing chocolates… In this ever-new “Synod Church” anything goes, everybody is welcome, especially unrepentant public sinners. You shot your granny at point blank range? Who cares? Jesus loves you, we’re non-judgmental here, and while you really should not have shot your granny, your same-sex partnership is none of our business. You’re OK with it, we’re OK with it. We’re non-judgmental – did I mention that?
When I discover that priests who are known to be public dissenters are given important positions in any diocese, I ask myself, how must the faithful clergy feel? How does anyone feel in any walk of life when they are overlooked for something, a promotion perhaps, in favour of someone who is unqualified or – in the case of a heretic, whether material or formal – someone from whom the people should be protected, not find presented to them as a leader. It is clear from the Synod document(s) that the contributions come from an uninformed laity, people who fail to understand that no synod on earth can change God’s Laws, or change the hierarchical structure of Christ’s Church. No synod can permit the ordination of women or approve “alternative sexual orientations”.
In fact, though, as we are going to press, I’m hearing that there are some lay people around quoting their priest, in at least one deanery, who has challenged the Synod document(s); nobody was asking for women’s ordination and the recognition of “alternative sexual orientations” in his deanery… So, what’s going on? Is Fr Campbell not just making up his very own Marian Theology, but the survey results as well? Whatever next! C’mon… Gimme a break. Does this give us hope – that the faithful in Glasgow are not all modernists, ecumenists, heretics, schismatics, you name it? Is this one of those rare “Alleluia”! (post Vatican II) moments? Smile, you read it here first 😀
PS – It’s only a detail, I know, and it’s some years now since I read the life of Pope Saint Pius X, but my memory of the incident recounted by Fr Campbell in the above video is somewhat different from his account. Unless I’m mistaken (and it did happen once, back in the day), it was the saint’s mother who asked to kiss his ring and it was Pius who pointed to her wedding ring and said “But for your [wedding] ring, I wouldn’t have this ring.” That fits the character of the saint, better – I just cannot imagine him extending his hand for his mother to kiss his ring, as in a sort of command; that’s not the beautifully humble Giuseppe Sarto, who impressed my anything-but-humble-self when I read (not one, come to think of it, but two accounts of) his life story. Just a detail, as I say, but I’m not in the mood to let the Rev Campbell off the hook, even a small hook, not at all, not today.