Is a Synod of Horrors Coming Our Way?

Recently I heard a lady being asked about the “synodal church.” Her answer was as succinct as it was accurate: “Please! I’m Catholic, not synodical.” I can only agree with this myself, even though talk of the “synodal church” is now so naturally on everyone’s lips as if it were a statement of faith.

In fact, however, this term is not found in any magisterial document or in any catechism; nor does it appear in the “Credo”. Whoever speaks of the “synodal church” is therefore speaking of something that does not exist.

Synods of bishops also have nothing to do with the “synodal Church”, and in their present form they have not even existed for long, but were only introduced in 1967 by Paul VI to advise the popes. Anyone who claims otherwise is spreading fake news, even if even cardinals are now doing so. Slogans like “synodality is part of the DNA of the Church” are ideological at best, but they are not Catholic.

Of course, the upcoming 2023/24 Synod of Bishops is officially only a consultative body; unofficially, however, it is already much more. This is evident, among other things, from the fact that lay people participate in the synod and, on top of that, have the right to vote. It is clear that this fundamentally contradicts the definition of a synod of bishops. However, it is also clear that the significance of this synod increases enormously as a result. Already today it is regarded in the media as a “church parliament” or “mini-concilium” and the protestations of the Synod Secretariat to the contrary only reinforce this unfortunate impression.

The fact is that the upcoming synod is intended to usher in a paradigm shift in the church, as the recently published working paper (instrumentum laboris) impeccably demonstrates. Thus the objective of the synod has become apparent: Celibacy is to fall and, with the introduction of women deacons, also the sacrament of Holy Orders. In addition, the sacrament of marriage is to be further softened by the “blessing” of same-sex couples and by an acceptance of – pagan – polygamy of whatever kind. Beyond that, there are a number of other proposals, all of them hair-raising.

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