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What should the Byzantine Catholic Churches do when Rome allows these innovations in the next couple of years? It is obvious that it cannot claim the title of being the "true Church" anymore. Do we split apart and form a new Church, or rejoin the Orthodox? Or has Christianity overall just run its course?

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Christ is in our midst!!

LionHippo4,

I think Pope Francis has answered your question about female priests. In the past few days he dashed the hopes of the liberals and stated plainly that ordination was reserved to males only, affirming the teaching Pope St John Paul 2 in his 1994 teaching document. He has also put the discussion about female deacons off. As far as same-sex blessings, that is something the MSM has muddied for us. The blessings he is talking about appear to be the same sort of thing anyone would ask for. There is, as yet, no formal ceremony and in no way does he hint that this would be the same as a marriage, much to the chagrin of the liberals, especially in Germany where they have had some public blessings that have given the impression that they are marriage blessings.

This Synod on Synodality is not over. The initial meetings were held this year; the final ones next year after the participants take the ideas tossed around back to their respective countries. Please note that our MSM wants to push the narrative that this is ground breaking stuff and is just short of being introduced when it is not. There have been stories published of massive pushback from Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa, as well as some from South America. There was an Orthodox observer quoted in one article who was amazed at the push on the part of the West for female ordination and this LGBTQ blessing discussion. The fact that it received so much attention disturbed him.

The Catholic League president sent a letter to Rome about the attention given to the LGBTQ dissident groups at the Synod. He stated that senior prelates from the United States had taken strong positions condemning these organizations. He posed the question as to who was wrong in standing with or against them--were these senior preolates wrong or was Rome going in the wrong direction. Both cannot be true.

So don't give up yet. In a way this might be a way of sniffing out the dissenters.

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It seems to me that, with the Papacy of Francis, there is a movement in the Catholic Church to emphasize mercy and understanding instead of judgement. Pope Francis must navigate a fine line (more like walking a high wire) between doctrine and human diversity and dignity. I do not envy his job. The " True Church" isn't just a series of rules....dos and don'ts. It is people, some strong, some weak. Among its commissions, is to address the needs, of the marginalized-  those with little power or influence and those on the fringes of society. This role is a central theme of the Gospels- in outright sermons and parables.

I believe Pope Francis takes this commission very seriously. He wants the Church to help spead the Gospel with examples of mercy and understanding. 
After all, the Great Commission is to "go and teach all nations"....not "go and judge all nations."

Christianity will never run its course as long as the ideals of the Gospels are at it's core. I think we Catholics should tolerate dialog that entertains inclusive possibilities. I do not think we should view dialog on these issues as a threat. There is no doubt that devout Catholic women deserve a greater role of some sort and, those of non traditional sexual identity, have souls and are loved by God too.

I am a traditionalist on both of these issues, however, I welcome dialog as a step toward mercy and understanding.

Just my opinion.......

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I think where Pope Francis gets mixed up is the idea that the Church can accommodate everything. There is an axiom in nature that a healthy body cannot tolerate everything because there are some things that are detrimental to the body and can destroy it.

One of the issues is transgenderism. I feel for people who have this psychological problem. But we have to remember that we are in the business of saving souls, not accommodating the world and its fads and fashions. We used to have the idea that we would accept people but put them on the path of spiritual health, not be enablers of disorders that have spiritual dangers to them.

There is the issue of communion for everyone. Pope Francis misses the point of St. Paul's warning in the Communion Epistle (I Cor 11). How are we not leading people to condemnation when we tell them it is okay to approach when they may be in an adulterous marriage, or openly living an LGBTQ lifestyle, or are not in full agreement with all that the Church teaches? I've had to explain to my Protestant relatives that we do not practice "open communion," which their communities do. Communion is more than simply the person approaching the Lord. Part of "discerning the body" is being aware of the Mystical Body and all the implies: we are in full agreement with the celebrant, the doctrine he stands for, and the greater communion of Church that he is a representative of. There are many layers of reality that the act of communion entail.

How is it mercy to lead someone to an eventual condemnation after one passes out of this life? St. Paul is clear. Pope Francis seems to muddy the waters.

The greater pushback is that this confusion was going on in 1978 when Pope St John Paul2 was elected. He was elected to bring clarity to the Church and he did it with the Catechism he gave us. We get back to confusion when the Catechism is altered or ignored at the whim of the current pope.

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Originally Posted by theophan
I think where Pope Francis gets mixed up is the idea that the Church can accommodate everything. ... Pope Francis seems to muddy the waters.

The greater pushback is that this confusion was going on in 1978 when Pope St John Paul2 was elected. He was elected to bring clarity to the Church and he did it with the Catechism he gave us. We get back to confusion when the Catechism is altered or ignored at the whim of the current pope.

Thank you for this post. When I wrote on the forum that Pope Francis was ambiguous I had not anticipated that there was much worse to come: confusion and outright error.

As a deacon I (personally, my Sensus fidelium [en.wikipedia.org]) find it hard to acknowledge him in the litanies, though he is the Pope of Rome. He has us engage in a Synod on Synodality and then, preaching mercy, acts as an accomplished tyrant.

Before the Creed at the Divine Liturgy I would always say the (optional in the RDL) traditional "The doors, the doors" in deference to the ancient Disciplina arcani [en.wikipedia.org]. I have since emphasized them as the most sorely needed words I say, and as I have preached: We need boundaries. Yes, all are welcome:

RSV 1 Timothy 2:1 "First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way. 3 This is good, and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved ..."

but also,

"and to come to the knowledge of the truth."

So don't come into the Church to "evangelize it" to the ways of the world. All are welcome to enter and be transformed by the Gospel, by Christ. Come in, but leave your baggage at the door.

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Theophan, Each of your points are excellent and well expressed. I have no disagreement with any of them. 

My comments were merely to suggest that Pope Francis sees compassion as a needed Catholic testimony to an increasingly uncompassionate world.

Perhaps the world needs to know that the Church cares before it takes the invitation to the "knowledge of the Truth."

Since we are quoting scripture, perhaps this one may be of interest here:

RSV 1 Corrintians 13

 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

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Originally Posted by Hutsul
I think we Catholics should tolerate dialog that entertains inclusive possibilities.
What are these "inclusive possibilities"?

Originally Posted by Hutsul
There is no doubt that devout Catholic women deserve a greater role of some sort ...
Prior to this new awareness -- "greater role" is too often a euphemism for "I want power" --" devout Catholic women" and devout Catholic men, and all others were and are called to holiness, to sanctity.

Originally Posted by Hutsul
...and, those of non traditional sexual identity, have souls and are loved by God too.
Has not the Church always taught that those descended from Adam have souls and are loved by God? Are "those of non traditional sexual identity" not attempting to reverse God's creation? What is being "blessed" in these identities and homosexual unions? Is mutilation of one's body to recreate one's sexual identity, one's self, ok?

Originally Posted by Hutsul
I am a traditionalist on both of these issues, however, I welcome dialog as a step toward mercy and understanding.
I think there has always been "mercy and understanding" in the Church and the problem with the current situation is rampant Presentism [en.wikipedia.org]. So certainly "mercy and understanding" but what this present time of trial desperately needs is the "witness" that is actually lacking :

RSV John 18:37 Pilate said to him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth.

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Father Deacon, AJK,

Question # 1    (Quote) "What are these "inclusive possibilities"? "

If I had definitive ideas on inclusive possibilities, I would have been invited to the Synod on Synodology. I trust those ideas to surface by the experts at the Synod, and I would not want to close the doors on them.

Point #1. (Quote) "Prior to this new awareness -- "greater role" is too often a euphemism for "I want power" -"

May I suggest that those who degrade "greater role" into " I want  power" are those who may feel " I don't want to give up any power".

Now it's my turn

Qustion #1 (Quote)  "Has not the Church always taught that those descended from Adam have souls and are loved by God? Are "those of non traditional sexual identity" not attempting to reverse God's creation? What is being "blessed" in these identities and homosexual unions? Is mutilation of one's body to recreate one's sexual identity, one's self, ok?"

Question #1 is:    How can it be that the first recorded gentile convert to Christianity was the Ethiopian eunuch?

Question #2 ( quote) As a deacon I (personally, my Sensus fidelium [en.wikipedia.org]) find it hard to acknowledge him in the litanies, though he is the Pope of Rome. He has us engage in a Synod on Synodality and then, preaching mercy, acts as an accomplished tyrant.

Here is where your admiration of clarity comes in..........

Question # 2 is:    Please clarify what you mean by "accomplished tyrant".

                   You see, I am familiar with the dialogues of Plato too....lol

With all due respect to you and your office (and I do really respect you and learn much from what you write)) I feel I must defend Pope Francis. In the footsteps of his namesake- St. Francis-  the Pope seems to view the embrace of the leper and the giving of one's cloak to the beggar, more important than dotting the i and crossing the t of any dogma or catechism. The culture of Medieval Europe was changed forever by the simple examples of St. Francis. Intellectual approaches to theology were affected by those like St. Thomas Aquinas, but which Saint stills stirs the heart of the common man? And....which Saint's story do you suppose caused more conversions?

Perhaps I am mistaken, that's very possible. Or, perhaps, quantifying and clarifying Mercy is the problem. Unlike written doctrine, it is hard to define, but ironically, so evident when seen.

Whatever the case, I am grateful to be in a discussion with you, Father Deacon.

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Originally Posted by Hutsul
Whatever the case, I am grateful to be in a discussion with you, Father Deacon.
And I you, Hutsul.


Originally Posted by Hutsul
Question # 1    (Quote) "What are these "inclusive possibilities"? "

If I had definitive ideas on inclusive possibilities, I would have been invited to the Synod on Synodology. I trust those ideas to surface by the experts at the Synod, and I would not want to close the doors on them.
See (official Italian?) “A Synodal Church in Mission,” the 42-page summary report [Italian] [catholicnewsagency.com]; also I provide here Google translate English version pdf unedited, as is.

I thought the recursive Synod on Synodality already rather circular -- Let us talk and discern how to do what we are doing -- but you have it right that the next step is to create a formal branch of study, "Synodology" and have a Synod on it. What has happened with the review that was done at the Eparchial level? I believe that St Paul gave us the blueprint for being inclusive:

RSV Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

In this context it is also worth noting that he also wrote:

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel: it is the power of God for salvation to every one who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, "He who through faith is righteous shall live." 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse; 21 for although they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man or birds or animals or reptiles. 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever! Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error. 28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct. 29 They were filled with all manner of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity, they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God's decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them but approve those who practice them. (Rom 1:16-32 RSV)



Originally Posted by Hutsul
Point #1. (Quote) "Prior to this new awareness -- "greater role" is too often a euphemism for "I want power" -"

May I suggest that those who degrade "greater role" into " I want  power" are those who may feel " I don't want to give up any power".
About those who so "degrade," you may very well be right but I wouldn't know. I am suspicious of quota-entitlement language -- "devout Catholic women deserve..."-- as indicating a faulty point of departure. What do devout Catholic men deserve? But we should ask and I ask all: Apart from Holy Orders, what roles were/are lay women denied that lay men were/are not, and why?

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As an old man, and a long-time participant in this forum it distresses me to see written so many negative comments about the pontificate of a man I deem not only to be a true man of God, but an ardent and relentless defender of the marginalized. I think ambiguity belongs to those who blindly refuse to understand the Gospel way that this Bishop of Rome is trying to bring to the world.

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Originally Posted by Utroque
... and relentless defender of the marginalized.
He and each of us must be a "relentless defender of the marginalized." Has that not been done by the Church in the past? Can that not be done along with clarity in affirming sound doctrine. Pope Francis makes flippant remarks that sow confusion. Then the confusion is not corrected and remains to germinate and foment descent.

Dear Pope Francis, please stop the flippant remarks that sow confusion; please quickly clarify the confusion that germinates and foments descent. You are the Pope of Rome even before you are Francis.

Originally Posted by Utroque
As an old man ...
Then you know how "The Rhine Flows into the Tiber [amazon.com]." Trent ebbed its flow for some 400 years. I have no problem with its fresh water, significant issues with its pollution.

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Originally Posted by Hutsul
Now it's my turn
This is good.

Originally Posted by Hutsul
Qustion #1 (Quote[=ajk])  "Has not the Church always taught that those descended from Adam have souls and are loved by God? Are "those of non traditional sexual identity" not attempting to reverse God's creation? What is being "blessed" in these identities and homosexual unions? Is mutilation of one's body to recreate one's sexual identity, one's self, ok?"

Question #1 is:    How can it be that the first recorded gentile convert to Christianity was the Ethiopian eunuch?
Because he was just a eunuch. Would not a euneuch have been baptized in the Church prior to Pope Francis? Was the eunuch transitioning and affirming his right and ability to do so? Would not a woman who had a total hysterectomy be baptized prior to Pope Francis? Should she be baptized if she were transitioning, intending to complete the procedure and affirming her right and ability to do so?

"Do you renounce Satan?" No, but I seek Christ and His compassion and mercy.

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Transsexuals: Pope responds to dubia [youtube.com] and comments; from Crux [cruxnow.com].

Is there confusion and ambiguity?

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Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Utroque
As an old man ...
Then you know how "The Rhine Flows into the Tiber [amazon.com]." Trent ebbed its flow for some 400 years. I have no problem with its fresh water, significant issues with its pollution.

I'll put that one into my Kindle for my enlightenment. Thanks for the link! As one who preceded the Council by a number of youthful years I've got some good memories and insights myself into a Church before & after. As for John Allen, EWTN, George Weigel and all the other religio-politico internet journalist chatter that goes on, I've verily had enough. Good for Pope Francis that he so patiently entertains the marginalized journalists. I'll keep him in my triptychs with pride. Jesus could be flippant, too: "Where are they, woman; has no one condemned you?"

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 I think,  listening, weighing, and considering opinions initially seems confusing and ambiguous. It is only time and reflection on those opinions that brings solidity and clarity. But listening is a necessary first step.

I imagine the criticisms of Pope Francis in this analogy, (please forgive my farfetched approach here, it's a result of a little too much pondering)

A corporation is floundering a bit and its product doesn't seem to be in much demand.The board of directors and the regional managers get together and elect a new CEO, one that may have fresh vision of how to present the product through stricter distribution. The new CEO, much to their surprise, tells them their management attitudes are at fault, they have not been paying attention to the broad base of their workers, especially those in the poorer factories. He encourages them to listen to their needs. He also reminds them that these same workers, in the hinterlands, are part of the company too.. Well, some of the managers are furious..."we did not hire you to tell us where we are wrong. .....We hired you to reassure us that our product is the best, and enforce sales.

And so, some of the managers begin to have reservations about a CEO who thinks that the workers and consumers are just as important as they, the Board and the Managers. And, besides, how can the employed give guidance to the employers? And they confront the CEO about it. And he explains.......


Clericalism (per wikipedia)


Merriam Webster defines clericalism as "a policy of maintaining or increasing the power of a religious hierarchy".[1] Pope Francis in his address to the Synod Fathers at Synod2018 described clericalism thusly:

Clericalism arises from an elitist and exclusivist vision of vocation, that interprets the ministry received as a power to be exercised rather than as a free and generous service to be given. This leads us to believe that we belong to a group that has all the answers and no longer needs to listen or learn anything. Clericalism is a perversion and is the root of many evils in the Church: we must humbly ask forgiveness for this and above all create the conditions so that it is not repeated.[2]

According to Toronto priest Fr. Thomas Rosica, Pope Francis uses "clericalism" to mean a kind of "ecclesiastical narcissism," as well as a "club mentality and a corrupt system of cronyism."[3]

I suspect the Pope's many statements concerning clericalism fuels a lot of his critics.

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