PopeWatch: Shadow Synod



From Rorate Caeli:

Buried within the article published today in the Catholic German newspaper Die Tagespost is the incredible news that helps to explain both the amazing way in which rules are changed by the hour at the 2015 Synod, and the constant leaks of threats and papal opinions. Every day a kind of miniature Shadow Synod meets at the Domus Sanctae Marthae with the Pope (including some Synod Fathers and some outside guests) to decide what steps should be taken at the Synod.

Die Tagespost

[…] Who says what, how much the two fronts clash against each other – and nobody so far denied that these fronts exist – what happens substantially in the Synod Hall – all these things are not getting into the public. […] Only in the coming days, will it come out how many Synod Fathers wish which changes to the Church’s practice. As Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, one of the four delegate presidents of the Synod, said a few days ago in front of journalists: the three hundred bishops did not come together in order not to decide upon anything. The uncertainty about how the outcome will be of these three-week long negotiations is being heightened by the fact that in the guest house of the Vatican, Santa Marta, there takes place a kind of ‘Shadow Synod’: Pope Francis meets with participants of the Synod and with outside guests in order to speak with them individually. In the end, it is up to the pope to make a decision about the still open questions and to communicate his decision to the whole Church in a concluding text. That, however, is up to now the greatest riddle which underlies the whole Synod. […]
In any event, for this Synod, the Message of the Synod Fathers to the People of God has already been deleted; and an approved drafting committee did not even need to have been elected – which points to the fact that the attention of the world’s public and beyond shall be fully directed to the papal final document. Some rumors – according to which this final document even lies, already fully prepared, in a drawer, or that it is just now in the middle of its being written by a working group – do not lack a certain malice, because that would mean that the work of the ongoing synodal process has been a sham consultation. And it was especially Pope Francis who started his pontificate with the wish that the synodal processes shall become more important with regard to the leadership of the Church.

PopeWatch wonders why the Pope is even bothering with what is clearly a farce of a Synod.


More to explorer


  1. Agreed. Recalling the change of rule last year.
    The 2/3rds majority rule was overturned by PF regarding a “certain text,” because he wanted it to remain part of the body of the work.
    Why they ever voted nobody knows, since it seems that the real reason to hold the Synod was to mask the results as being a consensus.

    To me, this is a bad Halloween party.
    The tricks are out numbering the treats.

  2. “It seems that the real reason to hold the Synod was to mask the results as being a consensus.”

    I have to agree Philip. And so we have this hugely expensive, time consuming show synod in an effort to introduce radical ideologies, even if well disguised, as Chirch teachings. Kasper and Daneels have admitted as much. Just like, I might add, the barely disguised radicalism of the encyclical has been introduced as dogmatic light. I see a distasteful pattern of behavior.

  3. Show trials and show synods. Most appropriate in Pope Francis’ Marxist world. As Lord Acton says, absolute power corrupts absolutely. The good part is we are finding out about it and many Bishops seem to be rejecting Pope Francis 2015 version of Catholic morality. Let’s hope we are seeing a return to historic Catholic doctrine by some of the Bishops. That way something of value would come from this travesty which nothing more than the fruit of Vatican II.

  4. I saw the stories about a second shadow Synod several days ago. While deplorable this is to be expected from Peronist Pontiff.

  5. At this point in time, the results of this sham synod will hold no water with observant Catholics, who cannot help but realize the entire process and results have probably been rigged.
    The scandal to the authenticity of Church authority may even be more harmful to the credibility of the Church than the gay-priests abuse stuff.
    How are we to evangelize when the world now knows how Church consensus is formed–in some back room–away from the magisterium?

  6. Surely the synod fathers are realizing that they’re only there to lend a veneer of
    “collegiality” and legitimacy to a program that’s been decided without them.
    They are being used, and it doesn’t matter much what they say or how they vote.
    Since it doesn’t matter what the synod fathers think or how they vote, and since
    the whole affair is only about pretending to seek their input on an agenda that’s
    already been decided, I think it’s perfectly sensible for synod fathers to excuse
    themselves and go home early. Why stay and be made into a rubber stamp?
    The Pope will decide what he will decide– but staying and being used like this
    is (A) agreeing to make a mockery of the idea of collegiality and (B) lending one’s
    good name and a veneer of respectability to Francis’ agenda, sight unseen.
    We’ve heard of a Potemkin village– well, this is a Potemkin synod.

  7. “….scandal to the authenticity of Church authority may even be more harmful to the credibility of the Church…” – which is harmful to so many souls right around the world.
    May the Blessed Virgin intercede for us to prevent a travesty that seems imminent. I am sure the Grace is there for the bishops (and pope) who want to do the right thing but the smoke and confusion is so thick.
    I wonder if the good bishops are also conferring with each other perhaps discussing strategy or simple refusal to cooperate ..?

  8. Why is it when I read anything about this synod, I have an image of a witch on a broomstick screeching, “and your little dog too!”

  9. Also, “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow Synod knows!” Heh, heh, heh, heh!”

  10. In 1988, the Victorian Era train station in my town was burned down in an arson fire. In the mid-1990s, a “temporary” structure was built on the site and the site has stayed that way since. So, when it was announced that plans were underway to completely re-tool the train station, potentially moving it to the other side of the river, I really began to pay attention.

    It was announced that there would be seven “charette” sessions and that any member of the Borough that could vote could participate. Wanting to do my duty, I attended the first three.

    I loved that there were all of these interns running about, taking notes. In a packed room, lots of great ideas were shared that would have created a really interesting, mixed use facility. It was an exciting thing to be part of. But then, I noticed that the site plans were re-drawn in time for the next cherette and that the site plans included everything collectively “decided” the day before. This collaborative process was an impressive display but there was no data… No cost analysis, no time for construction imagined, no listing of challenges like traffic, etc.

    I was suspicious. I wondered “why are they consenting to all of these community ideas without running any of it past the investors, regulators, etc.?”

    I called one of my mother’s friends, a person on several county boards and “in the know” and explained my concerns. He laughed heartily and said that I was right to be skeptical, that the “Cherettes” should be called “charades” because they were all for show. The plan was written in stone, accompanied by full environmental studies and traffic studies and the like. The Cherettes were being done on the advise of the primary developers who wanted to make sure that the public did not get in the way of the project with protests, political action, etc.

    I gave up, recognizing that my attendance was doing nothing more than inconveniencing myself. I should not have. I should have raised holy hell but I failed to see how my involvement could have mattered.

    My hope is that the good bishops do better than I did. I hope that they hang in there, standing up for the Truth and calling out their brother bishops on their faithless behavior.

  11. David
    I had a similar experience in Ct when the Fish and Gam held a public hearing for input regarding banning all under (18?) from ice fishing. (Nannyism gone wild)
    The entire(100%) audience spoke against it but they put it in anyways (reversed it years later. though)

  12. Obviously, the Synod is a sham, which was established to
    present to the world and to all Catholics (the grand show),
    that the Church is united behind the Peoples Pope while
    he radically transforms the Catholic Church to reflect
    the modern world.

    “Archbishop Blase Cupich, always so gentle, has a
    heartwarming message for adulterers and practicing
    homosexuals: Sin boldly, as long as your conscience
    allows, and I’ll give you the Body of Christ. By this
    logic, we assume murderers should keep on murdering,
    as long as they’re doing so in good conscience, and Blase
    will put Christ into their mouths (sorry, hands)
    personally.” Rorate Caeli

  13. “… transforms the Catholic Church to reflect the modern world.” Syncretic pope… opening the gates to anything and everything.

  14. “and Blase will put Christ into their mouths (sorry, hands) personally.”

    Just so long as they don’t kneel.

  15. “’… transforms the Catholic Church to reflect the modern world.’ Syncretic pope… opening the gates to anything and everything.”

    No. Unlike after Vatican II, we will say no.

  16. “… transforms the Catholic Church to reflect the modern world.”

    Silly me, here I was thinking that we should try to change the world to reflect the
    message of the Gospel, when it’s been decided that instead, we need to change
    the message of the Gospel to reflect the world.

  17. The Pope’s man in Chicago tells any doubters all they need to know about “the agenda.”
    I await his rejection from on high……..

  18. David Spaulding: a very similar incident happened at our then parish many years ago. The Powers That Be wanted to revitalize the community (or something), and asked for parishioner involvement. We went, and along with many others were seated at tables, each with a “facilitator.” We each had our say; good and perhaps not so good ideas were presented. The “facilitator” took notes.
    Then it came time to present. Well, the “facilitator” from our table clearly had is own-or most likely an already approved-agenda, because what he said our table said really bore little resemblance to what our group discussed. I later read in a book by Michael Rose this kind of thing is a fairly common tactic among the progressive crowds. It’s all for show-let the little people think they are participants, and they will go along with any old thing.
    Alas, in typing this, I suspect the Synod is really just the same kind of sham.

  19. From Catholic World News:
    “Questioned about the proper role of pastors in helping Catholics to form their consciences properly, in light of Church teachings, Archbishop Cupich said: “My role as a pastor is to help them discern what the role of God is by looking at the objective moral teaching of the church and yet at the same time helping them through a period of discernment to understand what God is calling them to at that point.”


  20. Catholic World News – October 16, 2015
    Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago has said that pastors should respect the consciences of all Catholics who approach the sacraments.

    Speaking to reporters at the Synod of Bishops, the archbishop invoked the authority of conscience in answer to a question about whether Catholics who are divorced and remarried should be allowed to receive Communion. “If people come to a decision in good conscience then our job is to help them move forward and to respect that,” he said. “The conscience is inviolable and we have to respect that when they make decisions, and I’ve always done that.”

    Responding to a follow-up question, the archbishop said that the same logic would apply to homosexual couples who approach the Eucharist.


  21. In other words, Anzlyne, Cupich is saying that the people need to make their own decision of what’s right and wrong for them in order to receive the Lord’s Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. Hmm….that’s going to work out quite sacrilegiously I do believe. Kind of like handing them a Cyanide pill for their souls.

  22. ..and that’s called being compassionate and merciful? O the damage the Archbishop is doing. He would be more at home in the Episcopal Church.

  23. Archbishop Cupich’s statement is nothing more than moral relativism masked in theological doublespeak. He runs interference for pro abort, pro gay marriage politicians and judges. With this sort of “reasoning” Anthony Kennedy is to be applauded for his expression of conscience over objective morality and natural law. When you think about it, Cupich’s turns Church teaching on its head.

  24. At certainly appears to–not only be desecrating the soul, and the sacraments, but is also distorting the very meaning and purpose of conscience (thus, any the need for repentance–without which paradise cannot be attained).

    This entire concept inverts conscience from being our guardian against sin to one of defender of sin, for if it is not properly formed according to the teachings of Christ through His Church, then it becomes a prime imprimatur for sin in the hands of the diabolical.

  25. “PopeWatch wonders why the Pope is even bothering with what is clearly a farce of a Synod.”

    I recall a radical “Catholic” nun/theologian/feminist who wrote in a book that their (progressives) goal wasn’t to fix the church but to take over the structures of it (thus keeping the very appearance and credibility of God’s Church for their contrary purposes.
    Maybe that answers the above question?

  26. . “The conscience is inviolable and we have to respect that when they make decisions, and I’ve always done that.” only TRUTH is inviolable.
    “Charades” need to be put on the ballot, as the government or state owns nothing…NOTHING. The taxpayers need to be included by voting on the expense in the privacy of the voting booth… the rest is taxation without representation… While people must work two jobs to pay our taxes, sometimes we haven’t the strength or time to make sure our votes count. MAKE THEM COUNT.

  27. :and your little dog too” …The Catholic Church is all the triumphant in Heaven, the militant on earth and the suffering in Purgatory. These souls cannot abandon us. Nor can our Guardian Angels abandon us.
    Jesus Christ said to Peter: “Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven. Whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” The Vicar of Christ on earth cannot bind on earth what cannot be bound in heaven, nor loosed on earth that which cannot be loosed in heaven. The Vicar of Christ on earth is bound to the TRUTH of Christ.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: