Cardinal Rips ‘Toxic’ Synod

News: World News
 •  •  January 12, 2023   

Pell condemns Francis' pet project in last statement

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VATICAN CITY ( - In a final message before his death, a conservative cardinal excoriates Pope Francis' upcoming Synod on Synodality as a "toxic nightmare."

The Spectator published Cdl. George Pell's posthumous article, which is entitled "The Catholic Church must free itself from this 'toxic nightmare.'" As a member of the pontiff's council of cardinals and the former Vatican prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, Pell was a close associate of the holy father.

Cdl. George Pell

Pell, who died unexpectedly on Tuesday, quips, "The Catholic Synod of Bishops is now busy constructing what they think of as 'God's dream' of synodality. Unfortunately this divine dream has developed into a toxic nightmare despite the bishops' professed good intentions."

He blasted the Vatican's 45-page working document for the continental stage of the synod process and pleaded with faithful bishops to take action before it's too late.

"With no sense of irony, the document is entitled 'Enlarge the Space of Your Tent', and the aim of doing so is to accommodate, not the newly baptised — those who have answered the call to repent and believe — but anyone who might be interested enough to listen," Pell declares. 

In a presentation at Oxford in March 2022, Cdl. Mario Grech, the secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, proclaimed, "A synodal Church is a listening Church because a listening Church is a synodal Church. Listening is the principle of synodality. Where there is listening, there is the Church."

Pell points out this blatant incoherence, stating, "According to this recent update of the good news, 'synodality' as a way of being for the Church is not to be defined, but just to be lived."

'Synodality' as a way of being for the Church is not to be defined, but just to be lived.

The cardinal also deemed that the "New Age good will" of the synodal process is "hostile in significant ways to the apostolic tradition."

This is easily demonstrable from the way in which the Vatican document, along with local synod reports, addresses issues like contraception, divorce and remarriage, homosexuality and female ordination.

News Report: A Dangerous Process

Pell argues that those involved in the process must choose whether they will serve God or man: 

The synods have to choose whether they are servants and defenders of the apostolic tradition on faith and morals, or whether their discernment compels them to assert their sovereignty over Catholic teaching. They must decide whether basic teachings on things like priesthood and morality can be parked in a pluralist limbo where some choose to redefine sins downwards and most agree to differ respectfully.

Possibly most striking, the cardinal notes, is the synodal document's "neo-Marxist jargon" and silence on the eternal judgment of souls upon their death. 

He observes, "So far the synodal way has neglected, indeed downgraded the Transcendent, covered up the centrality of Christ with appeals to the Holy Spirit and encouraged resentment, especially among participants."

Pell spoke out against Germany's Synodal Path, calling it the "suicidal way."  

Cardinal Pell was, at one time, a part of Pope Francis' "gang of nine" cardinal advisors before being falsely accused and convicted of sex abuse. 

During the 2015 Synod on the Family, the Australian prelate spoke out against those fighting to change Church teaching.

He said in an interview, "Communion for the divorced and remarried is — for some, very few, but certainly not the majority of the Synod fathers — it's only the tip of the iceberg. It's a stalking horse. They want wider changes: recognition of civil unions, recognition of homosexual unions. The Church cannot go in that direction. It would be a capitulation from the beauties and strengths of the Catholic tradition."

Just months ago, Pell spoke out against Germany's Synodal Path, calling it the "suicidal way."

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