Bishops plot revolution on Church teaching at secret Rome meeting
Catholic , Communion For Remarried , Homosexuality , Synod On The Family
Editor’s note: See the invitation and program for the meeting here.
ROME, May 29, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) — A private meeting convened by the presidents of the German, Swiss, and French bishops’ conferences was held on Monday at the Pontifical Gregorian University, the Jesuit university under the Holy See, in anticipation of the Synod on the Family to be held in October. The objective was clearly to push for changes in “pastoral practice” as regards Communion for the divorced and “remarried,” as well as the welcoming of Catholics living in “stable” same-sex unions.
Clearly, traditional Church teachings condemning contraception are also under attack, and more particularly Humanae vitae which has long been seen by progressives as the major repellent that caused many Catholics to distance themselves from the Church over the last half century.
A group of representatives of the meeting are said to have been received by the Pope at the end of the day.
Amongst the 50 or so participants, Cardinal Reinhard Marx was the star of the event. Marx is a member of Pope Francis’ “G9,” and well known for his support for the “Kasper agenda” and as a prominent defender of the “value” of homosexual unions. All were not promoters of radical pastoral changes in the Church, but many are known for their liberal approach.
The meeting had the stamp of officialdom due to the presence and implication of Archbishop Georges Pontier, the progressive head of the French Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Markus Büchel, his Swiss counterpart, and Marx. Büchel, who favors the ordination of women priests, was quoted before the opening of the Extraordinary Synod as saying that Pope Francis would not change doctrine nor touch the indissolubility of marriage, but that he did think there could be a new approach to pastoral praxis in line with Cardinal Kasper’s suggestions: “I hope we can make a step forward,” he said.
But while the invitation to the event was made in the name of the presidents of the bishops’ conferences, only those bishops invited were informed of the event and most bishops were not aware it was to take place.
Four other bishops took part in the “Day of Reflection”, including Mgr Jean-Luc Brunin from France who will represent France in the upcoming October Synod together with Mgr Pontier of Marseille and Cardinal Vingt-Trois of Paris. Also present on Monday was Mgr Bruno Feillet of Reims, France, substitute for the Synod, who is known to express a traditional stance on marriage and moral theology.
There were also theologians, professors, priests and even members of the media who were invited on the provision that they would not publish detailed reports of the meeting, the objective being to give them “background” in view of the Synod. The full list of participants was published by Edward Pentin, the respected Vaticanist of the National Catholic Register.
The proceedings took place behind closed doors, and all participants were required not to speak publicly about the meeting, especially concerning who said what.
The meeting would probably have been kept secret if Jean-Marie Guénois, of the French daily Le Figaro, had not leaked the information on May 23. Sources in Rome say the leak was clearly not planned by the organizers. Cardinal Reinhard Marx was visibly irritated and uneasy when hailed in the street as he was leaving the meeting. Edward Pentin adds the cardinal argued that he had every right to be there in a “private” capacity.
The fact that the information was leaked probably explains why the German bishops’ conference published a communiqué about the meeting but it says little more than the invitation to the event. The wording of the communiqué – translated by the Rorate caeli traditionalist blog – contains no overtly revolutionary statements but stresses the participants desire to approach Church teachings from a new standpoint, including “new insights from anthropology, as well as from sociology,” as well as taking into account new ways of living that “do not follow traditional patterns any more” in a “highly complex and pluralistic society.” In many ways, the wording of the communiqué points to the rationale of Cardinal Kasper and his followers, who aim to justify profound change in pastoral attitudes under the appearance of gaining more “credibility” with modern man.