Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has called the Synod on Synodality a potential “hostile takeover of the Church of Jesus Christ.” Pope Francis announced last week that he is adding an extra year to the Synod on Synodality. Pope Francis has described it as a “journey” of discernment about the future of the Church that entails lengthy “dialogue” with the laity and dioceses across the world.
So far, the synodal “listening sessions” in countries such as Germany have occasioned little more than subversion of the Catholic faith. Müller’s fears are entirely justified. The cardinal Pope Francis has chosen to run the Synod on Synodality speaks volumes about its direction. He chose Jesuit Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, the archbishop of Luxembourg, who is on record rejecting the Church’s perennial teaching on the sinfulness of homosexual acts. “I think it is time for a fundamental revision of the doctrine,” he has said. Hollerich is openly hostile to traditionalists within the Church and sees the Synod on Synodality as an opportunity for the Church to adapt to the “changing mindsets” of the modern world.
For Müller, such talk smacks of the heresy of modernism, the idea that the truth comes not from above, in the form of divine revelation, but from below through man’s “individual experience” and “self-revelation.” Pope Francis has credited the late Jesuit Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini for influencing his thoughts on a “synodal” Church. Martini favored “democratizing” the Church and called it “200 years out of date.”
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