Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church


Final Synod Report needs Discernment

November 14th, 2015, Promulgated by Diane Harris

The final Synod 2015 report can be found here .

If it comes up in Italian, just click on ‘translate’ for the English.

The most disputed paragraphs are #84, 85 and 86.  Both “sides” seem to be reacting as if they’d lost something in the final document.  If this were a mega acquisition deal being negotiated, or a business relationship, both sides having to compromise might be a good sign.  But not in Christ’s Teaching.  There is much to be understood in this Synod Report, and much discernment needed.  Unfortunately, most of us are not “taught” discernment.  But at least a first step is to understand the issues, and consult the opinions expressed by both “sides.” (Sad word choice for Catholic Teaching.)

Here are two “views” worth examining.

“Synod Adopts Alarming Sociological Approach in Place of Clear Doctrine


“Cardinal Danneels Warns African Bishops to Avoid Triumphalism”


4 Responses to “Final Synod Report needs Discernment”

  1. avatar christian says:

    Those educated in Catholic doctrine years ago, probably pre-Vatican II, knew that if they were divorced and remarried or living in any other situation involving sexual relations, they were not to be admitted to Holy Communion.

    Years ago, when I was 29-30 years old, a middle-aged woman was standing next to me when it was time for Holy Communion. She turned toward me, and told me how fortunate and blessed I was to be able to receive Holy Communion. She told me that she longed to be able to take Holy Communion, but could only gaze at it from afar. This woman came to church, alone, every Sunday and holy day. She told me it was difficult because it had been so many years since she had Holy Communion. I could tell she pained over not being allowed admittance to the Body and Blood of Christ. She said she had been divorced and remarried many years ago.

    After her words, it made me feel a deeper privilege to be able to partake of the Body and Blood of Christ, which I had taken for granted. I also was deeply grieved for her that she could not receive Holy Communion.

    Notice: The priest was not the one preventing her from partaking of Holy Communion; it was herself with the knowledge of the doctrine she had been educated in.

    A short time ago, a relative told me that they didn’t know if it made any difference what the Synod on the Family said regarding who was allowed entrance to Holy Communion. She said they had a male homosexual couple at their church (within the Diocese of Rochester) who came to church together regularly every Sunday (probably holy days too). She said they were very polite and friendly to everyone, and were very involved in their church community. She said everyone knew they were a gay couple. She said they both went up to Holy Communion every Sunday and the priest gave them Holy Communion.

    I relayed to her that I knew of a heterosexual couple living together without marriage, who were very involved in the church community of a church I attended years ago. They went up regularly for Holy Communion every Sunday and holy day, and were given Holy Communion by the priest. There were others -individuals involved in immoral, sexual lifestyles who went up for Holy Communion and received it. I think there is a good possibility that there were some people “from the streets” who came up for Holy Communion who may not have even had basic instruction in Christianity. (We are all sinners and fall short, and depend on God’s mercy and grace).

    *But I think there has been a general movement within at least the last 30 years, to leave sexual relationships out of the equation of living a good Christian life and being church worship appropriate: a disconnect among sexual relationships and church worship.
    I was aware of young Catholic singles of both genders, in the ’70’s and ’80’s who openly commented that they didn’t see how their love life and sexual encounters had any bearing or relevance to their Christian life. They regarded a Christian life as being based on charity and kindness to others and reverence to God. They attended church regularly and went up for Holy Communion. A friend of mine at that time, from a Catholic group we both belonged to, stated they heard the comment, “Everybody needs a little lovin’!” at a another church. This general movement of disconnect has expanded to include homosexual relationships/lifestyles and gender related issues, relationships, and lifestyles.

    I think the Catholic Cardinals and Bishops in Rome are “out of touch” if they think the administration of Holy Communion is just a debate limited to divorced, remarried Catholics and those involved in homosexual relationships/lifestyles.

    This relative who told me about the homosexual couple in her church community, said that she didn’t know how they could enforce who was and who wasn’t allowed to receive Holy Communion anyhow, as people will just go up to receive it.

    The other thing I have noticed is that the Church Fathers have lost their credibility and influence over significant percentage of the population, especially young people, due to the sexual abuse scandal among clergy and religious which had been purposely covered up for many years.

  2. avatar annonymouse says:

    The way that exclusion from Holy Communion can be “enforced” is for the pastor to approach the “irregular” couples, be they unmarried, homosexual, or divorced and “remarried” (an oxymoron in the eyes of the Church, by the way) and ask them to refrain from presenting themselves from Holy Communion unless and until they make amendment. Otherwise, the pastor has their scandal on his conscience and I believe will have to answer for it. It does no couple any good for the pastor to look the other way and not call them to repentance.

    I long for the day in which we’ll actually hear about sin from the pulpit. To ignore the reality of sin negates the need for forgiveness and mercy.

    Now regarding that homosexual couple, it may well be that the pastor has done just that and received their assurances that they are living as brothers. That is what I prefer to think when I see the obviously homosexual “couple” at my parish.

  3. avatar christian says:

    annonymouse – I hope you are correct with regard to the situation at your church.

    However, I have found with a good many churches nowadays, the priest is not interested in delving into people’s personal lives involving their sexual morality, chastity, sexual relationships/living arrangements.

    In these mega churches which exist, either housed in the suburbs, or housed in the city as a result of closed and sold parish churches, and the multiple parishes and parish clusters merged together, the priest couldn’t possibly know all the members of his parish community and be actively involved in all of their lives.

    In many instances, the priest does not stick around to mingle with those in the parish, but is rushing off to say mass at another church, or rushing off to another commitment, either church-related or personal, has to make phone calls, or has to get ready to prepare for the next mass at that church. Various priests are also not involved with parish groups or other activities of their parish.

    For those priests who think they don’t need to talk about sexual morality and other matters pertaining to the Catholic faith, because they think everyone in the pews already knows, I think they are somewhat naive. Young people for some time, have not been getting information on sexual morality from religious instructions, Catholic education, and definitely not from public education, – and not from the pulpit.

    Many years ago, when I heard young people asking for what boundaries they should observe when dating and how far they should go in a Catholic single’s group when I was a young adult, they received vague, non-commitmental answers from religious, such as “I can’t tell you how far you should or shouldn’t go, ” “Only you can determine how far you should go,” “It’s a personal decision which a couple should decide together,” which I interpreted to be an attempt to fit in with the modern psycho-social views and counseling advice at the time as well, as being politically correct. It was probably due to current coursework taken inside and outside of the church.
    On this one occasion when the subject of sexuality and spirituality was specifically addressed at a seminar for a group of young single men and women, and they received these vague, non-commitmental answers to the question, “How far should I go before marriage?” many of those present were disturbed at the nun’s answer. They made comments relaying how upset they were, and their great disappointment that she was not able to give clear boundaries to them. These young people who were present, were really interested in doing the right thing according to God and the Catholic Church. One young woman said afterward, that she had been hoping the nun would give clear answer and boundary that she would have been able to quote to her boyfriend who was pressuring her to go further.

    The best chance young people today have, is if they come from a family where the parents are married and do not engage in extramarital affairs, and additionally, if their parents remained celibate before they married. If the parents remain open with their children and discuss the choices they made and why, hopefully it will have an influence on their children’s lives.

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