The Problem of the “Two Synods”, by Robert Royal

On the Road to the Supreme Court, by Matt Hadro
October 9, 2019
In Rochester, Moms’ Group Prays for Vocations to Come From Among Their Families, by Michelle La Rosa
October 9, 2019

*Image: Claudio Peri/ANSA via AP

By Robert Royal, The Catholic Thing, Octobre 9, 2019

In the early days of a synod, it’s very difficult to assess what’s going on  – especially because observers and journalists are not allowed into the hall. And that’s under the best of circumstances. In current circumstances, the communications office says that it has been taking special steps to ensure that as much clear information as possible is being released. A phrase has come up several times – even alluded to by the pope: they hope to keep what is really going on (“the synod of the room”) from being distorted in various outlets (“the synod of the journalists”).

This is hardly a new concern. Pope Benedict XVI spoke often of how Vatican II – which he and JPII and many others who actually participated in the Council thought of as balanced effort at renewal – quickly turned into the “Council of the journalists,” aided and abetted by heterodox theologians. In a media-interpreted world like ours, appearances can easily be made to replace reality.

But this papacy itself does not have clean hands when it comes to such things. At the first synod called by Pope Francis, the 2014 Synod on the Family, the infamous midterm report (relatio post disceptationem), which among other controversial things called for “valuing” homosexual relations, was concocted by bishops close to the pope and issued after Francis had read and approved it.  It caused a stir worldwide, not least because the very next day several cardinals appeared in a public briefing to deny that such subjects had even by discussed by the synod fathers. ….