Synod: The Opening Salvo
The opening salvo of this synod belongs to Cardinal Erdo.
After Francis’ usual fluffy, “this but also that”, “have your cake and eat it” speech, the Cardinal – who was culpably weak last year when he allowed the infamous relatio post disceptationem to bear his name as main signatory, but then recovered and disavowed it almost immediately – opened his own speech with the following words:
Jesus Christ is our master, our Lord, and the Good Shepherd.
It is difficult not to see in this an open criticism of a Pope so worldly, so shamelessly secular in all he does, that he managed an entire speech in the US without mentioning Jesus once. Also note the emphasis on the fact that our Lord is a good shepherd, and therefore not “cruel” or “legalist”. Not bad as a start. Not bad at all.
The rest is – if you gloss over the V II verbosity and the usual diplomacy of how good the bad pope actually is, full text here – in line with the incipit.
Cardinal Erdo has – see the link at the beginning for more comment – basically drawn a line in the sand at the very start. This is important, because the man – who isn’t a lion, see above – would not have pronounced such a speech unless he was sure that he echoes the prevalent sentiment among the bishops; not only those present at this farce but – infinitely more importantly if the Obama hits the fan – those outside.
The opening speech seems to me, in fact, a kind of closing speech. “It is what it is” – says the cardinal to the Kasperites – “shut up already”. He does not say it with these exact words, obviously; but among prelates “shut up already” is said in a different way than among us mere mortals.
It seems to me that when a line is drawn in the sand on the very first day, something is boiling in the Vatican cauldron. There must be a pent-up dissatisfaction with Francis’ ways – both in general and at last year’s synod – that moves the bishops to act decisively from the start in order to prevent any kind of “surprise” that Francis may have prepared. No one trusts this man. They know why, and you too.
Think of this: the bishops have just finished to insistently reinforce traditional teaching on marriage; therefore, there is no universe in which Francis can come out one fine morning and say that now the “Spirit” wants to do everything differently. He would dig his own grave, and he knows it. I hope the pressure on him keeps mounting. It will keep him awake in case he is dreaming of some golpe.
The opening salvo was, if you ask me, very effective.
I would go as far as to say that it has landed square on Francis’ and the Kasperites’ head.