A New Religion?

This has been a very busy week for me, hence the brief posts. Now here’s another.

Over at Rorate Caeli you will find a provocative dispatch from Italian journalist Alessandro Gnocchi in which he states, “[M]ore than half the bishops present at [the Extraordinary Synod on the Family] . . . have already switched religion.” His primary basis for that claim is the unsettling voting tallies from the Synod which, perhaps, reveal that a high number of prelates are prepared to move ahead with radical new proposals which would undermine the Church’s teachings on morality and the Sacraments. Could be right? Is he just being an alarmist? Or is there more going on that we’re not yet aware of? Actually, the answer to all three questions could be “Yes”; and if so, what, if anything, will you do about it?

Gnocchi is right to note that schisms have happened over less. However, given that we live in an unserious age with unserious people committed to their unserious religion, I have a hard time imagining a forceful schism arising out of anything the bishops do or say. The neo-Catholic apologists will be on hand to whitewash over the obvious while an increasing number of traditionalists find themselves pondering sedevacantism. Meanwhile, the liberals will rejoice for a time as they preside over a dying remnant of what used to be the Holy Catholic Church. The Church, of course, will continue, but perhaps not in the way we suspect.


  1. I’m a bit confused by what’s going on here. Were the reported vote totals just for the disputed paragraphs or something else? Which version of the report? It’s not clear.

    1. The final report sent to the dioceses contains the disputed paragraphs with the vote tallies noting that they were rejected. All three paragraphs failed to get the requisite 2/3rds majority vote. However, all three carried majority votes.

  2. In the end, those bishops who rejected the synod’s soundings on marriage, homosexuality and other issues will be quietly removed by Pope Francis and replaced with the Pope’s men, and like all liberals, Pope Francis will call another synod; and the outcome will not be in doubt.

    No one will protest, or at least no one who already has not done so, such as the Society, and much like most of the Catholic world when the Church introduced new and novel forms of worship. will simply quietly accept the new religion.

  3. Mod,
    I will repeat what I have said before: it would appear that the overwhelming majority of priests, and bishops, for the last fifty years, lack the prerequisites for a knowledge of the faith, i.e., the latin language, languages of scripture and tradition, a scientific and humanistic primary education, and a synchronic philosophical and theological education which would (for philosophy), include the ancients [Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, etc.], the neoPlatonics, the Schoolmen, and the moderns, and which would (for theology) include the martyrs, the Fathers, the Schoolmen (with special emphasis on St. Tommy), the Humanists, and the Moderns. This was suggested by the Council Fathers of the Second Vatican Council. I still think it would be a good idea.

    1. Bernard,

      I agree with you 100%, though I wonder if that would “be enough” to push them toward orthodoxy. I do think seminarians may be better trained today than they were 20-30 years ago, though perhaps that’s not saying much. There seems to be an over-emphasis on what I would call “modern theological learning” without much grounding in the basics or the past. This is true for non-seminarians as well. I wish I still had access to the posts, but some time ago Owen “Ochlophobist” White put together an impressive critique of theology programs and graduate degrees. In the end, his estimation was much like mine: they are, compared to graduate students in other disciplines, remarkably shallow, ill-formed, and needlessly prideful. This is not to say that it holds true across the board, but it takes more than just a mere assertion of, “I studied theology at such-and-such…” to catch my eye.

      1. Modestinus,
        Thank you for your kind and thoughtful reply. I’d be very interested in seeing the critique which the Ochlophobist did of theology programs/graduate degrees. If you or Owen would be so kind as to send a link to it, I would very much appreciate it

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