The Synod, Just Once More, for Now
As we’ve seen in previous synods, they can be subtly, and not so subtly, rigged. Our American bishops nominated moderates as delegates: Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop Broglio, Bishops Barron, Rhoades, and Flores. This week, Pope Francis chose Cardinals Cupich, McElroy, Gregory, and O’Malley (Tobin participates as one of the synod organizers), and Fr. James Martin, S.J. And Victor Manuel Fernández, ghostwriter of Amoris Laetitia, whom he also named to head the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith – a confusing but reliable Argentinian gatekeeper.
Some people have begun arguing that this is all a quarrel among self-important pezzi grossi, activists, and ideologues – irrelevant to their lives. And that it’s far more important to put energy into staying faithful and confronting the sharp threats to Catholics everywhere – especially since the Vatican seems to have little interest in helping them do so. Anyone might be forgiven for turning away from the whole self-referential mess of the Synod on Synodality and let what happens, happen. Which it’s likely to do anyway, no matter what people on the inside or outside, do or say.
For many people, that’s the right choice. The Synod is already winding itself up over things like “welcoming” people, particularly LGBTQ+s who will largely never turn to the Church, welcoming notwithstanding. Meanwhile, faithful Catholics in every developed country are facing aggressive proselytizing by LGBTQ+ activists who have captured the “commanding heights of the culture,” as the Soviets used to say. And are regularly called “haters” of sexual minorities and women seeking abortions.