The Synod on the Family: Is Satan in Charge???

There has been much discussion on many different blogs, in different newspapers, and in various areas of the media over the Synod on the Family which is currently going on in Rome. Many people are hearing that one bishop said this or another bishop said that and beginning to panic and start already building their defenses in order to fight back. I would caution people against any premature hysteria. I think one of the dangers going on here is the readily available media coverage of the synod without any filter of understanding. It should come as no surprise to anyone that there are bishops in the Church with varying opinions. It has always been this way; in fact, in the earliest centuries, the differences of opinion were sometimes so strong that they were met with fists, sticks, insults, and even banishment from their dioceses on some occasions. No society, no matter how holy, if it is made up of human members will ever avoid it. Those who somehow expect that all the bishops would get together with the Holy Father and that there would be not a single difference of opinion are living in a dream world. If that were the case, there would be no need for synod in the first place! What is critical is not what one bishop or another says, what one or another letter written to the Holy Father says, but ultimately the final decision by the Holy Father after the bishops have consulted with him. That is the only document that need concern us. In order for the Holy Father to be able to arrive at a good pastoral decision he has to be able to hear frankly and candidly from the bishops, as Cardinal Dolan told us he asked them to do and he and others who signed a letter to him before the synod began in fact did. To suggest otherwise would mean we’re expecting that the bishops would already come into the synod and simply say what the Holy Father wants to hear. Such a meeting would be useless. Therefore it is essential that bishops be able to state their opinions, even if they disagree radically with the opinions of others. There’s no way we can arrive at the fullness of truth about any issue without hearing from all the different nuances of the issue, even those who disagree with a belief or are against certain way of implementing those beliefs. So the day by day coverage of the media of everything that was said in trying to get leaked documents is counterproductive, as it leads people to think that because there is a bishop with an opinion that differs from that of another the church is somehow split asunder. Difference of opinion does not constitute dissent. Dissent would come into play if, after the Holy Father issues whatever decree he does from the synod there were several bishops who refuse to go along with it; that would be dissent. There is no indication at this point that any of the bishops are threatening dissent if the Holy Father doesn’t agree with them. So do not worry if you’re reading all the different stories that are being passed on about the synod. First of all, the reporters are not inside covering what was said, they are receiving materials handed to them sometimes secondhand. Also, many of the media that are reporting on the issues are not sufficiently trained to understand what it is that is in fact being discussed. My advice to everyone is to wait for the Pope to give the final document. That is the only thing that would have any authority over us and in any way representing any official teaching from the church.

13 thoughts on “The Synod on the Family: Is Satan in Charge???

  1. I’ve upset you??? You called me a “nobody”, a “Johnny-come-lately” , you called my degree something you get from a Cracker-Jack box, you have questioned my expertise and my credentials to be on TV – all of which are more than valid – you told me you saw my performance and was not impressed, and you say I’ve upset you? What am I supposed to make of all the hurtful things you said about me? Was not your constant barrage of insults to my professionalism upsetting? Do you think you responded charitably to me?

    As for “Fr. Andy,” everyone in my parishes knew not to call me that, and no one did on a regular basis. If your daughter used that with you it was either out of animus for me or, if innocent, she did not know me as well as you think, for anyone who knew me well and respected me never called me “Fr. Andy.” That was only used by people who deliberately wanted to insult me.

    We can agree or disagree over Michael Voris. I don’t see him as the next Fulton Sheen; you do. But through all of this you have hardly been sensitive to my feelings and with all due respect, you have not been fair in your criticism of me nor have you been charitable, both of which are essential elements of responsible correspondence. I don’t know who you are or who your daughter is, but I can assure you CBS was most pleased with my performance. They told me I was one of the finest priests they have ever had on TV during such events, and they asked if I’d be willing to return. Obviously, the professionals at CBS know what they are talking about.

    • Francesca says:

      I am not sure why you’re bringing my dead daughter into this!

    • Francesca says:

      And by the way, Andy is a lovely name. It was my brother-in-law’s name and we called him Andy because we loved him, not to insult him or offend him. Who in God’s holy name thinks that “Andy” is an insult? Imfeel like I’ve stepped into bizzaro world here or something!
      Oh, and also my priest said an M. Div comes put of cracker jacks boxes, not STB.

      • Francesca says:

        Also, I like ABC better than CBS. They are more professional.

      • Your brother-in-law may have liked when you called him “Andy,” but I do not. I prefer to be called “Fr. Andrew” and if you have respect for me you will call me what I ask to be called. That’s called being civil. Anything else is deliberately antagonistic.

        You like ABC better? That’s your prerogative. But don’t start insulting CBS just because you feel the need to win an argument.

      • Francesca says:

        In no way is “Andy” an insult. Anyone who thinks such is nuts. Really. Nuts. And ABC is better not because I think it’s better. I think it’s better because it IS better. I mean, they had some great experts covering the Pope’s visit!

      • To be honest, I’m getting a little tired of this thread. Any semblance of constructive dialogue was lost a long time ago. We’re resorting to name-calling and silly comments, and to be perfectly frank, I am far to busy with the work of my ministry to bother with this discussion any more. May God Bless you in all your endeavors.

  2. I couldn’t disagree with you more. I too have an STB, which you once said one gets from a Cracker Jack box. So why is his STB called “credentials” and not mine? So Mr. Voris is an “expert” because he listens to journalists??? Anyone with the right connections can get a network. All they need is a loud mouth and enough people willing to listen to them. Just look at Jerry Springer, Oprah, Whoopi Goldberg, etc. I would hardly call them experts. Where does Mr. Voris’ credentials come from? I was ordained by the Church to speak in her name, Mr. Voris was not. You have a warped idea of where authority comes from. Did you ever actually listen to Fulton Sheen? He never sanctimoniously pontificated and called people who disagree with him “evil.” No, Michael Voris does not remind me in any way of Fulton Sheen. What I am reading in your posts reminds me of the Pharisees, whose self-righteous rants against Jesus led them to kill Christ, while all the time thinking they were doing God’s will. And by the way, please stop calling my “Fr. Andy.” I do not like it and I find it very insulting.

    • Francesca says:

      I only said “Fr. Andy” as a term of endearment. My sister used to go to one of your parishes and that was one the names they called you there. “Check out Fr. Andy’s blog” was what she told me and how I found this in the first place. I could be your mother, do not get angry with me. And I never said anything about a S.T.B., my priest did , I didn’t even know what one was until very recently. And yes, I grew up with Bishop Sheen, and you did not, so I know whereof I speak. Michael Voris is the next Archbishop Sheen and he has the credentials to prove it. And a network, which is a very big deal. And by the way, when I said experts for the Pope’s visit to NYC I meant smart people like Fr. Murray and Fr. Rutler. It’s still a mystery to me why people like,that weren’t tapped when we saw the quality of what they did get. Oh boy.
      Congratulations, Fr. Andy, you’ve upset a very old lady on her favorite day of the week, which is Sunday!

  3. Francesca says:

    Excuse me, Fr. Andy, but Michael Voris has an S.T.B. And an entire network, not just a “show,” as you call it. He is one of the greatest minds in the Church, he reminds me of Ven. Fulton Sheen and he’s not afraid to stand up to the “church of nice” and its priests and bishops! He is an expert and people should check out his inside information about the synod, which is not what you’ve suggested at all.

  4. Ok, now we’re on to something. Michael Voris is a seminary dropout (he was in the seminary with me and left before he got his degree) whose only credentials are the thoughts in his own mind. Now we know where your thoughts lie and what you consider an “expert.” Michael Voris is no expert! Just a dropout with an opinion who happened to get his own show.

  5. Francesca says:

    Father Andy, that’s not what Michael Voris is reporting and he’s got some pretty good credentials when it comes to theology and journalism. It’s good for us Catholics to seek out informed news sources and not some Johnny-come-lately “experts”. Just a thought!

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