Synod: Do Not Snatch Defeat From The Jaws Of Victory
The day after the end of this mess, I am very worried that justified concerns about the weakness of the text may lead well-intentioned commenters to score self goals and, actually, involuntarily help the enemy.
Texts are texts. We consider them for what they say, not for what other people will pretend that they say. And we read them from a Catholic perspective, because this is what we are.
The reality on the ground is this: the text does not say that adulterers can be readers at Mass. It does not say that adulterers can be godfathers at Catholic baptisms. It does not say that adulterers can be teachers at Catholic schools. It does not say that adulterers can receive communion. It does not in any way approve of gradualism. It does not in any way modify or deny Familiaris Consortio.
All these things (the wrong readers, godfathers, teachers) can happen as a heresy-driven pathology and, factually, I am sure they do happen in places. But they happen because there is heretical will at play, not because the Relatio says so. The Relatio does not say any of this in the least. It is even very clear in the necessity to avoid scandal. It is also clear (if rather short) in the rejection of gradualism. But again, a text is not there to explain Catholicism to unbelievers. It merely needs to mention what believers already know. It’s a Relatio for Catholics, not a “comprehensive guide to orthodoxy for German heretics”.
Cry “defeat against heresy” too much, and this becomes a very dangerous self-fulfilling prophecy. We have not been defeated. We have won. They have lost.
When the heretics try to distort the text beyond recognition, as that scoundrel Schoenborn did yesterday, we do not help him in doing so. We reiterate Catholic teaching, and we defend a proper, Catholic understanding of texts that must be read in a Catholic perspective.
The story here is that at the Synod, Kasperism has been defeated, and it has been defeated on both counts of adulterers and perverts. There will be attempts to manipulate this text, but this is nothing new: heresy is always manipulation of texts, and there has never been any need of this final Relatio to promote any of them. We do not help the heretic to manipulate the text, but we denounce the manipulation and the heresy. Least of all we help Francis to try to introduce novelties based on what the synodal text does not say, but we help him to say that it does.
We must read and have the text read in the proper, Catholic way, that corresponds not only to the real meaning of the text, but to its only possible key of interpretation.
This, we do for two reasons:
A) We insist on Catholics reading text as Catholics, not heretics. What the heretic imagines by reading a text is his problem. Better said, that he is a heretic is his problem. The Gospel is full of phrases that have been manipulated by heretics (divorce, “brothers of Christ”, “do not judge”, and so on). That’s what heretics do. As the Americans say: don’t be that guy!
B) We are aware that a huge media effort is already underway to present a new “church of mercy”. We do not help the heretics to state their argument. On the contrary, we point out that this fantasy church is a heretical construction.
Do not play in the hands of the enemy. Condemn the weakness of the text. Blame the Synod Fathers for not having the guts to openly smash heresy. But do not say that these texts open the door to heretical activity or changes. Not only they don’t, but if you say that they do you help the heretics in their wicked purposes.
The texts that I have seen up to now are weak, but sound. The heretics have not got the text that they wanted.
We decry that the Relatio is weak, but we do not make it unsound. Because if we do so, we create exactly the narrative that the Heretics want, and give them ourselves an interpretation of the texts that is exactly the one they want.
We have won, for heaven’s sake. It’s a 1-0 victory after a horrible and very dirty game, but a victory it is.
Do not snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.