Edward Pentin share’s the concluding chapter of his book the The Rigging of a Vatican Synod?: An Investigation of Alleged Manipulation at the Extraordinary Synod on the Family (Ignatius Press 2015):
“The stated purpose of the Third Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops was straightforward but risky: to open up a debate on some of the most neuralgic issues facing the Church and her teaching—issues that have wrought tension and division for the past fifty years. The apparent hope was that it would enable her to offer a more unified and effective pastoral response to the challenges facing the family today.
To many, it seemed to further that goal: they saw the synod as a salutary, collegial, and inspirational experience that showed the great universality of the Church. They welcomed the way in which, for the first time, it gave those who hold different views—or what Cardinal Brandmüller and others would criticize as “heretical” perspectives—a full airing.
Many of those who saw the meeting so positively tended to reject allegations of manipulation, even if some of them were critical of certain procedures and decisions of synod leaders. Some who rejected the “progressive” positions pushed by some of the meeting’s heads and espoused by some synod fathers also thought the final outcome of the synod was positive, despite certain missteps.
But whatever one makes of the charges of manipulation, this book shows that Pope Francis’ wish for an open and free debate in which all parties could listen with humility was seriously impeded, whether by dubious procedures inadequate to the tasks at hand, as some claim, or by outright manipulation by leaders with an agenda, as others claim. At the very least, it seems that the Kasper position and that of those favoring a change regarding homosexuality received support from the synod leadership significantly disproportionate to the real support for those positions among the synod fathers. Add to this the publicity created by the media release of the interim report, and the result was a highly controversial synod.
Continue reading at Edward Pentin’s Blog