The battlelines are being drawn between orthodox and heterodox in preparation for the Synod. Sandro Magister at his blog Chiesa gives us the details:
ROME, February 5, 2015 – As pre-announced by the secretary general of the synod of bishops, Lorenzo Baldisseri (in the photo), the first selection of participants at the assembly next October has been made public, after their election by their respective episcopal conferences.
What the delegation of the United States would be like was already known. The four appointees are all against the admission of the divorced and remarried to communion – a crucial point of the clash underway – while one of Pope Francis’s favorites, the progressive Blase Cupich, fresh from his promotion to the important archdiocese of Chicago, has not been elected.
France’s delegation appears more balanced, with the progressive Jean-Luc Brunin, president of the commission for the family of the French episcopal conference, counterbalanced by Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, archbishop of Paris.
Among the delegates of Spain, the one who received the most votes is the archbishop of Valladolid and president of the episcopal conference, new cardinal Ricardo Blázquez Pérez, for years a staunch supporter of the Neocatechumenal Way, which is the Catholic movement most engaged in defending the traditional model of the family. While the pope’s favorite, new archbishop of Madrid Carlos Osoro Sierra, made it onto the roster only by a hair, passing by just one vote the conservative Juan Antonio Reig Plá, bishop of Alcalá de Henares.
Firmly pointed in the conservative direction is Holland’s only representative, in the person of Cardinal Willem Jacobus Eijk.
And the same applies to most of the African delegates.
One surprising case is that of New Zealand, where the new cardinal John Atcherley Dew, a staunch supporter of the progressive ideas at the synod last October, fell short of the votes needed to return to Rome as a delegate for his country.
Also not elected, in Uruguay, is fellow new cardinal Daniel Fernando Sturla Berthouet, archbishop of Montevideo, he too a progressive. The one going to the synod is Minas bishop Jaime Fuentes Martín, a member of Opus Dei and a direct witness, fifteen years ago, of the scandalous “ménage” between then-diplomatic representative Battista Ricca – today in the good graces of Pope Francis, who has promoted him as prelate of the IOR – and his lover, whom he had brought there with him from Switzerland. Fuentes’s predecessor in the diocese of Minas, retired bishop Francisco Domingo Barbosa Da Silveira, also made the news for similar acts, which led to his forced resignation in 2009.
From this first round of selection of delegates one can therefore make the forecast that at the synod in October the proponents of sweeping changes in Church teaching and practice on matters of marriage and homosexuality will not find an easy road ahead of them.
This does not change the fact that some of them are demonstrating special activism in support of their cause.
In the United States, for example, the new archbishop of Chicago, Blase Cupich, makes no secret of the fact that his beacon is Cardinal Walter Kasper, the leader of the innovators, and is acting accordingly.
As he did in his previous diocese of Spokane, Cupich has announced in an interview with “Commonweal” that he will give all his priests a copy of Kasper’s talk at the consistory of February 2014, in support of admitting the divorced and remarried to communion, and will organize seminars so that these same priests can fully assimilate its contents:
In Germany, Munich archbishop Reinhard Marx, who is also one of the nine cardinals on the pope’s council, has rushed even further ahead.
In a wide-ranging interview with the magazine “America” of the New York Jesuits, he said that communion for the divorced and remarried is only a first step, because it is the doctrine of marriage that must be addressed and updated, and the same must be done with homosexual relations:
And meanwhile, the German episcopal conference has made public its own contribution to the synod last October: a document in support of communion for the divorced and remarried that has been signed by a large majority of German bishops and in fact is already being put into practice on a wide scale:
In Belgium, Antwerp bishop Johan Bonny, a former collaborator of Cardinal Walter Kasper at the pontifical council for Christian unity and an aspiring first-in-command as successor to the current archbishop of Brussels, the conservative André-Joseph Léonard, has increased the already heavy load of his proposals for innovation by demanding the Church’s full approval of “relationality” between homosexuals, in an interview with the newspaper “De Morgen”:
> Bonny wil kerkelijke erkenning holebi’s
Moving from the bishops to the theologians, one of these, the Italian Giovanni Cereti, cited by Cardinal Kasper as his first author of reference in the reconstruction of the ancient Church’s practice toward the divorced and remarried, not only has reiterated his ideas and rejected all criticism of them, but has intensified them, admonishing those who withhold the Eucharist from the divorced and remarried that they are placing themselves “out of communion with the greater Church.”
This is, in fact, what he writes in the preface to the latest edition of one of his books on the topic, “Divorced and remarried. Is a new beginning possible?”, published by Cittadella di Assisi:
“Anyone who does not recognize the possibility that these persons can be granted sacramental reconciliation, denying the Church the power to exercise mercy in the name of Christ and to remit all sins, falls into the errors of the Novatianists. They excluded from reconciliation and from communion, even on their deathbed, those responsible for sins of apostasy, murder, and adultery, meaning by this latter term the persons so indicated in the Gospel (and never remarried widowers). The greater Church soon came to the understanding that it had received from the Lord the power to absolve any sin, and therefore admitted them to penance, and after the period of penance readmitted them to ecclesial and Eucharistic communion. May the Lord not permit them – those who today, in the name of defending the faith, oppose the reconciliation of the faithful who find themselves in this situation – to fall into the error of Novatian, thus running the risk of putting themselves outside the communion of the greater Church!”
Go here to read the rest. Hopefully the Church will escape de jure schism after the Synod. However, that a de facto schism exists, none should doubt.
From Japan a Spanish Jesuit, Juan Masiá, has gone much further, in an extensive interview with the progressive Catholic portal “Religión Digital,” which presents him as “one of the world’s leading experts on bioethics”:
He does not only want the priesthood for all, including women, as the title of his interview highlights. On the specific point of marriage and divorce, he demands that there be no stopping at only practical innovations, like those suggested by the excessively prudent Kasper, but that what even Vatican Council II never dared should finally be done: to change doctrine, including the dogma of the indissolubility of marriage. As for “Humanae Vitae,” so highly appreciated by Pope Francis, Masiá waves it away. He says it is useless to take it into consideration. It is simply “to be forgotten.”