Radical Synod Planned for October
Working Document Reveals Revolutionary Aims
By John Vennari
On June 26, the Vatican released its Working Document (Instrumentum Laboris) for the upcoming October Synod on the Family, a ponderous text of over 25,000 words.
It is a thoroughly Conciliar manuscript. There is no mention of any document from the Church’s magisterium prior to Vatican II. Apart from Scriptural citations, all references are from Vatican II and post-Conciliar texts.
The document contains good points, major deficiencies and frightening proposals. The three most radical proposals are:
1) A new “pastoral solution” to allow divorce and remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion;
2) A new “pastoral approach” that permits the baptism of children from same-sex couples, thus indirectly legitimizing these unions;
3) A recasting of natural law in “new language”, which threatens to undermine our entire ethical foundation of true morality.
Indeed the Synod’s Working Document further displays the triumph of the New Theology over today’s Vatican; the same new theology that wrought havoc at Vatican II and continues its destructive path to this day.
Details, Details, Details
When reading the Synod Working Paper, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the avalanche of details. The document lists countless problems and anomalies presently affecting marriage and family life. It takes on too much – more than can ever be solved by addressing hundreds of particulars within a subjectivist “pastoral” framework.
The true solution calls for general principles rooted in objective truth, the immutable magisterium of the centuries and the Church’s Scholastic tradition.
Since the New Theology, however, is rooted in Modernist flux, subjectivism and is fundamentally anti-Thomist, these true solutions are likely never to be considered. The result of this Synod will thus be more continuous aggiornamento, more experimentation, more “new language”, more confusion, more revolution.
As Dominican Father Anthony Lee observed at the time of Vatican II, “The spirit of revolution dies slowly, especially when it can subtly associate itself with genuine reform.”
The reason for excessive details in the Working Paper is grasped when we look at how the paper was produced.
In November 2013, the Vatican sent a 39-question survey on Church teaching to the bishops of the world, as well as to various associations, communities and individuals.
The 39 questions were spread out under nine headings: 1) “Diffusing of Teaching on the Family in Sacred Scripture and the Church’s Magisterium” (note, the only two ‘magisterium’ documents mentioned in this section were Vatican II’s Gaudium et spes, and John Paul II’s Familiaris consortio); 2) “Marriage According to Natural Law; 3) Pastoral Care of the Family in Evangelization”; 4) “Pastoral Care in Certain Difficult Marital Situations; 5) “On the Union of Persons of the Same Sex”, 6) “The Education of Children in Irregular Marriages”; 7) “The Openness of the Married Couple to Life (with a focus on Humanae Vitae)”, 8) “The Relationship Between the Family and the Person”; 9) “Other Challenges and Proposals”.
The responses that ensued were predictable regarding the present state of marriage and family life within the post-Conciliar Church: utter confusion, lack of unified vision, overemphasis on trends of the times, rejection of bedrock doctrine. There were also positive responses from Catholics who have a better grasp of the Faith, but the overall picture is fragmentation, indifference, befuddlement and ignorance concerning the Church’s moral teaching.
The Synod’s Working Paper reflects this cacophony of viewpoints. We read of those who reject Church doctrine on birth control as they see it as an intrusion into their personal lives; they also see the practice of birth control as part of the exercise of “responsible parenthood”. There are indications of widespread cohabitation, divorce and remarriage, many teen mothers, canonical irregularities, the rise of same-sex couples adopting children, the list goes on.
As Ansa News reported of the document: “Many Catholics have ‘difficulties’ in accepting the Church’s doctrine on ‘birth control, divorce… homosexuality, unmarried couples, faithlessness, sex before marriage and in vitro fertilization’.”
Ignorance of Catholic moral teaching is displayed in statements from divorced and remarried Catholics who “wonder why others’ sins can be forgiven and not theirs.”[#92] An example from one of the document’s good points: It mentions that for most people, what is considered “legal” will be equated with what is “moral”, and thus the upsurge in laws that undermine marriage and the family confuse and disorient the faithful.
There are troublesome statements, which we will better address later, regarding same-sex unions.
As noted earlier, it is fatal to descend into the myriad of details of the Working Document. Anyone who has the stamina to read the entire text is free to do so, tedious exercise as it is. I usually don’t see eye-to-eye with liberal Father Thomas Reese of the National Catholic Reporter, but I was amused at his observation, “If married life is as boring and joyless as this document, I am glad I am celibate.”
We will move to what I consider the three most radical proposals mentioned earlier, starting with a possible new “pastoral solution” for divorce and remarried Catholics.
Marriage and Pastoral Aggiornamento
The Working Document contains two sections that open the door for a new approach. Speaking of divorced and remarried Catholics, the document states, “…responses and observations from some episcopal conferences emphasize that the Church needs to equip herself with pastoral means which provide the possibility of her more widely exercising mercy, clemency and indulgence towards new unions.” [#93]
Later, with regard to divorced and remarried Catholics who ask to receive Holy Communion, the document says, “In this regard, some recommend considering the practice of some Orthodox Churches, which, in their opinion, opens the way for a second or third marriage of a penitential character.”[#95]
Taken on their own, and weighed against the rest of the document’s verbal tonnage, these statements don’t seem to amount to much. It is scandalous to note, however, that Catholic bishops could actually consider adopting a practice of the Orthodox that defies Catholic doctrine and the clear words of Our Lord.
Nonetheless, the divorce/Communion proposal bears close watching in light of the recent shocking statements at February Consistory when Cardinal Kasper argued the possibility of admitting divorced and remarried to Holy Communion.
An unspeakable scandal followed the next day when Pope Francis publicly praised Kasper for his toxic proposals in front of all the other Cardinals of the Consistory, 85% percent of which, it is reported, sharply disagreed with Kasper’s recklessness. “I found deep theology and serene thoughts in theology,” rhapsodized Francis over Kasper, “This is what I call doing theology while kneeling. Thank you, thank you.”
NCR’s Father Thomas Reese alluded to this episode saying, “The working paper also notes that ‘some recommended considering the practice of some Orthodox churches, which, in their opinion, opens the way for a second or third marriage of a penitential character.’ It does not mention that Pope Francis is among those recommending considerations of the Orthodox practice.”
In the same vein, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldiserri, Secretary of the Synod of Bishops, said in his June 27 Zenit interview, “In regard to the ‘Orthodox model’ it is suggested as a proposal in the Instrumentum Laboris and the Synod Fathers will also discuss this.”
This is tantamount to opening up discussion about whether someone who dies in unrepented mortal sin may go to heaven. It is de fide from the Council of Trent that a sacramental, consummated marriage is indissoluble. Father Ludwig Ott teaches, “From the sacramental contract of marriage emerges the Bond of Marriage, which binds both marriage partners to a lifelong indivisible community of life.”
Along with the Canons on Marriage, the Council of Trent infallibly proclaims in Canon 2, “If anyone says that it is lawful for Christians to have several wives at the same time, and that it is not forbidden by any divine law [Matt. 19:4 f.]: let him be anathema.”
Thus there can be no admission to the sacraments of any Catholic who is divorced, remarried and whose original spouse still lives. Such a Catholic has broken his marriage vows and, in the objective order, lives in mortal sin. This is not an open question for Catholics, but a solemnly established truth that goes back to Our Lord Himself, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery.” (Luke: 16:18). Those living in sin cannot receive Holy Communion. The possibility of a different approach cannot be a matter for discussion, even under the specious rubric of a “new pastoral approach”.
Why then are Cardinal Kasper, Cardinal Baldiserri and Pope Francis considering the heterodox Orthodox model, instead of repeating the solemn teaching of the infallible Council of Trent? Why not save a tremendous amount of time and bother? Why not avoid unspeakable confusion and scandal? Why not publicly reaffirm the defined truths of the Catholic Faith on this point, rather than pretend there can be any other Catholic view?
As demonstrated by the whirlwind responses to the Vatican questionnaire, there is now massive ignorance of the Faith among today’s Catholics. Yet our leaders seem intent on keeping them ignorant for the sake of enacting new “pastoral solutions” that effectively defy the Faith of all time. Again I quote Father Anthony Lee, “The spirit of revolution dies slowly, especially when it can subtly associate itself with genuine reform.”
It is probably no accident the Working Document contains no references to the Council of Trent, to Pope Leo XIII’s Arcanum and to Pius XI’s Casti Cannubii, all of which repeat the absolute indissolubility of marriage. Are not today’s shepherds ramping up the chaos by refusing to restate these basic truths with all of their consequences? What does this say of our leaders’ quality as shepherds? What does this say of their claim to be truly pastoral?
Even before Cardinal Kasper made his reckless proposal, then-Archbishop Baldiserri opened the door for the new approach.
As Vatican Insider reported this past November 28, Archbishop Balidiserri, newly -appointed Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, said the subject of Communion for the divorced and remarried will be discussed “without taboos”. Baldiserri also hinted that the Synod may find an alleged solution by looking to the practice of the Orthodox which allows remarriage under certain circumstances.
Baldiserri’s repeated returns to this topic, as well as Pope Francis’ enthusiasm for Kasper’s proposal, guarantees this will be a central point of discussion at the October Synod.
In fact, we already have a preview of how the new approach to marriage may play itself out.
The Synod Working Document, as noted, calls for a “More widely exercising mercy, clemency and indulgence towards new unions.” Throughout the document we are urged to a so-called “non-judgmental” approach to various irregular unions.
It appears, however, that any priest who prefers traditional Catholic doctrine over this new approach will be sledge hammered in a manner that shows no mercy, clemency or indulgence.
In early July, Vatican journalist Sandro Magister related the case of Father Tarcisio Vicario, a parish priest of the Italian diocese of Novaro, who reiterated traditional Catholic doctrine on the relation of the Eucharist to divorced and remarried Catholics. Vicario’s Bishop went ballistic. Cardinal Baldiserri thrust himself into the subsequent hubbub, denouncing Father Vicario’s words as “crazy”, hardily non-judgmental terminology.
In his sermon, Father Vicario taught, “For the Church, which acts in the name of the Son of God, marriage between the baptized alone is always a Sacrament. Civil marriage and cohabitation are not a sacrament. There those who place themselves outside the Sacrament by contracting civil marriage are living in continuing adultery. One is not treating of sin committed on one occasion (for example, a murder), nor an infidelity through carelessness of habit, where conscience in any case calls us back to the duty of reforming ourselves by means of sincere repentances and a true and firm purpose of distancing ourselves from sin and from the occasions which lead to it.”
The Bishop of Novaro reacted with fury, denouncing Father Vicario’s words as “an unacceptable equation, even though introduced as an example between cohabitation and murder. The use of the example, even if written in brackets, proves to be inappropriate and misleading, and therefore wrong.”
Yet there was nothing inappropriate in Father Vicario’s sermon. He merely pointed out the difference between a passing sin, however serious, that can be resolved by Confession, and by the worse difficulty of actually living in sin within an ongoing relation. Father Vicario effectively answered those divorced and remarried Catholics who, we read in the Working Document, “wonder why others’ sins can be forgiven and not theirs.”
Cardinal Baldiserri then stepped into the act.
Even though Novaro is located near the Swiss border and over 400 miles from Rome, even though a Vatican prelate had no business intruding himself into the affair, even though the Vatican constantly turns a blind eye to the countless exploits of heresy, apostasy and scandal by numerous priests throughout Italy, Cardinal Baldiserri made it his business to denounce Father Vicario’s words as “crazy, a strictly personal opinion of a parish priest who does not represent anyone, not even himself.” (“una pazzia, un’opinione strettamente personale di un parroco che non rappresenta nessuno, neanche se stesso.”)
Father Vicario’s alleged “personal opinion” does not represent even Father Vicario himself? This is nothing short of a rant sputtered in a white-hot surge of emotion.
Further, Father Vicario’s statements are not merely personal opinions, but the constant voice of the Church. Why then does Baldiserri snarl and hiss at Vicario’s Catholicism like a vampire before a Crucifix?
Who is the one who is crazy here? Between the two, Baldiserri comes off as the man who needs the padded cell. Yet Baldiserri is the prelate personally chosen by Francis to be the guiding force of the upcoming Synod.
I think we now have a preview of Francis’ post-Synod Church. If the present trajectory continues unaltered, expect to see faithful priests who defend the full teaching of marriage attacked and humiliated by the new “who am I to judge?” regime.
On Unnatural Unions
The Working Document’s section on homosexuality does in fact reiterate certain precepts of Catholic moral teaching, but it is also here we see repeated call for a “non-judgmental” approach. We also see the door opened to baptizing children of same-sex couples, thus indirectly legitimizing these unions.
We read in #113: “Every bishops’ conference voiced opposition to ‘redefining’ marriage between a man and a women through the legislation permitting the union between two people of the same sex. The episcopal conferences amply demonstrate they are trying to find a balance between the Church’s teaching on the family, and a respectful, non-judgmental attitudes towards people living in such unions.”
Again in #115: “Episcopal conferences supply a variety of information on unions between persons of the same sex. In countries where legislation exists on civil unions, many of the faithful express themselves in favor of a respectful and non-judgmental attitude towards these people and a ministry which seeks to accept them.”
Unfortunately, the term “non-judgmental” is not explained, and helps fuel the secular superstition that Catholicism is unreasonably “judgmental” regarding homosexuality. Yet the Catholic Church only reiterates the teaching of the Old Testament and the New Testament, as well as the teaching of the saints, Doctors and Fathers of the Church. Homosexual acts are intrinsically evil; no set of circumstances could ever justify these acts, which are a grave sin against nature, grave sin against God, a mortal sin that sends the soul to hell for eternity if not repented, and is one of the four sins that cry to Heaven for vengeance.
Many modern Catholics, and a great host of modern Jesuits, would shudder in horror at this honest restatement of Catholic moral teaching. Yet truth does not change. As G.K. Chesterton observed, “Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.”
As for “judgment”: Yes, we can indeed judge that homosexual acts are sinful (even the 1992 Catechism mentions the term “grave depravity”) but as to the subjective guilt of the homosexual, that we cannot judge, for such interior movements of the soul are known to God alone.
Thus, as mentioned previously in CFN, we can judge objective moral actions, whether these actions conform to God’s law or not, but we may not judge a person’s moral motives. This simple but crucial distinction is found nowhere in the Working Document. Further, the term “non-judgmental” is more of a contemporary media term to enflame emotions; it is the language of modern trends, not the time-proven precision of scholastic theology.
It is worth noting that we should not be unduly harsh on those who struggle with temptations that do not afflict us. The Church has noteworthy apostolates such as the late Father James Harvey’s Courage, which is directed towards those who suffer same-sex attractions, and helps them overcome these sins and temptations. Courage is a Catholic and compassionate approach. It does not “celebrate” the homosexual lifestyle, as do too many “Gay and Lesbian Catholic Ministries,” (such as found at various US Jesuit and other “Catholic” universities, which host celebratory “coming out” days). There are no Rainbow flags on Courage’s webpage. The apostolate helps those who recognize homosexuality as a moral disorder, who seek to overcome these sins and live the Catholic life of sanctifying grace.
Much more can be said on the “same-sex” section of the Working Document, but in the interest of time, we move to the final point: the Working Document’s treatment of baptism of children of same-sex couples.
We read in #120: “The responses are clearly opposed to legislation which would allow the adoption of children by persons in a same-sex union, because they see a risk to the integral good of the child who have a right to a mother and father… However, when people living in such unions request a child’s baptism, almost all the responses emphasize that the child must be received with the same care, tenderness and concern which is given to other children.”
This ambiguous section stops short of explicitly encouraging baptism, but the message is clear. The door is open for Baptism of children of “same-sex couples. This is not only a misuse of the sacrament of Baptism, but will further “legitimatize” homosexual unions and the new definition of “family”.
The purpose of Baptism is not simply to go through the ceremony; it the entrance to the life of Sanctifying Grace and the first step in being raised in the Catholic Faith. This necessarily includes adherence to all the Church’s dogmatic and moral truths, and to not abandon the youngster to a household where immoral lifestyles are lived as if legitimate.
In his superb four-volume Moral and Pastoral Theology series, Father Henry Davis explains: “It is contrary to the mind of the Church to baptize a child who will not be brought up Catholic. The plea is mistakenly pressed that Baptism will give it grace, give it a right to heaven, and probably lead it to the Catholic Faith.”
Father Davis continues: “The same rules as given above, apply to the children of heretics, schismatics and Catholics who have become apostates, heretics and schismatics, for these children are seriously exposed to the danger of perversion.”
These Catholic principles were reflected in Canon Law. As one learned traditional priest told me, “The principles for resolution of this case come from Canon 751 and 750 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law,” which forbids baptism of children to heretics, schismatics and apostates. Thus, applying these immutable principles, such persons [same-sex couples] must be considered as formal apostates since they have openly rejected the Church’s moral teaching on sex and marriage, and this especially applies if they have attempted a so-called same-sex “marriage”. At least, such couples must be regarded as public sinners, since they openly live a lifestyle the Church has always denounced as grave sins. Have not homosexuals (who adopt this lifestyle) regarded the moral law of God and responded, “I will not serve?”
Granted, the Church sometimes admits the baptism of children from apostates and heretics, etc., if it can be foreseen they will receive a truly Catholic education and upbringing. But it is obvious that homosexual couples live in defiance of the Catholic Faith. Thus, to use the words of Father Davis, “These children [of these unions] are seriously exposed to the danger of perversion.”
Even Pope John Paul’s “Instruction on Infant Baptism” of October 20, 1980 reiterates this principle: “Assurances must be given that the gift thus granted [Baptism] can grow by an authentic education in the faith and Christian life, in order to fulfill the true meaning of the sacrament. As a rule, these assurances are to be given by the parents or close relatives, although various substitutions are possible within the Christian community. But if these assurances are not really serious there can be grounds for delaying the sacrament; and if they are certainly non-existent the sacrament should even be refused.”
Yet under the reign of Pope Francis, if the Working Document can be believed, we now have the majority of the world’s bishops open to the baptism of children of same-sex couples.
How far we have fallen from principles found even in the early Protestant schools of Boston wherein the 1789 law states, “Every town or district within this commonwealth … shall be provided with a School Master or School-Masters of good morals…” Should not our modern churchmen demand from Catholic guardians the same good morals that were exacted by Protestant institutions?
Finally, as noted, the baptism of children of such “couples” cannot help but be interpreted as a tacit approval of an anti-Catholic lifestyle that is incompatible with any concept of the true Catholic upbringing and education of children.
The fact that the majority of bishops favor such baptisms reflects the doctrinal destitution of men who are the product of a maimed formation, or who have allowed themselves to be twisted to modern disorientation.
The warning of Pope Pius VIII immediately springs to mind: “Nothing contributes more to the ruin of souls than impious, weak or uninformed clerics.” How much worse when weak and uniformed clerics become the majority of bishops?
Natural Law and New Language
The issue of Natural Law is a larger topic than we have time to cover in this issue. For now we will briefly mention one point.
The Working Document recounts that most Catholics don’t seem to understand Natural Law. It does not, however, address the cause for this ignorance: Catholics do not understand Natural Law because it has not been taught to them.
This deficiency is due to the widespread confusion regarding doctrine and morals that resulted from Vatican II, the countless heterodox “theologians” who now infest “Catholic” colleges, universities and seminaries while remaining priests in good standing, the downplaying of Thomistic Philosophy and Theology, and the resultant disappearance of traditional, organized, systematic scholastic text books on philosophy and theology, particularly in the Science of Ethics and Moral Theology.
In fact, one cannot properly understand Natural Law without knowledge of Scholastic Ethics and the entire traditional Thomistic framework.
Rather than call for a return to a reaffirmation of scholastic precision, however, the Working Document’s projected solution will cause even more turmoil.
The Document proposes, “The language traditionally used in explaining the term ‘Natural Law’ should be improved so that the values of the Gospel can be communicated to people today in a more intelligible manner.” [#30]
There we have it: more “new language” to speak in a manner intelligible to modern man.
This was also the promise of Vatican II.
We all know the alleged “updating” and “improving” of traditional Catholic language has been a principle of subversion since the time of the Council. Vatican II itself refused to employ the precision of scholastic language, and opted for a new and loose “pastoral language”. The Council went on to produce ambiguous documents that admit both a liberal interpretation and a conservative interpretation. An ongoing Churchquake ensued.
The rejection of Thomism at the Council was due to the triumph of the “New Theology” at Vatican II. A defining mark of the New Theology is repugnance to Thomism, an underlying problem well underway prior to the Council. Pope St. Pius X noted that hatred of scholasticism is a hallmark of Modernism. Speaking of the modernist New Theology, Father Anthony Lee noted at the time of the Council, “By 1946, the destruction of scholastic philosophy and the theology had taken on the proportions of a victorious crusade.”
Yet the very theologians who waged this crusade against Thomism were the same men whom John XXIII allowed to become theological “experts” at Vatican II, and thus guide the direction of the Council and the Church to this day. The neo-modernist progenies of the Council now prepare the October Synod, which has “continuous aggiornamento” written all over it.
If today’s purveyors of the new theology are permitted to undermine Natural Law, they destroy everything.
More on this crucial topic next month.
 “Thomism and the Council”, Father Anthony Lee, from the book Vatican II: The Theological Dimension, [Washington: Thomist Press, 1963] p. 743
 Preparatory Document: Pastoral Challenges to the Family in the Context of Evangelization, November, 2013.
 “Synod Opens to Rethink Unwed, Divorce,” Ansa News, June 26, 2014
 For those who don’t know, to be forgiven in Confession, one must make the firm purpose of amendment against sin. For a divorced and remarried couple, this necessarily entails them separating until (if possible) the marriage can be legitimately regularized, or by separating permanently (or by truly living as brother and sister).
 The section on Internet, Social media and its fragmentation of the family was surprisingly well done [#68-69].
 The document can be accessed on the Vatican website – (and yes, I’ve read the entire Working Paper – jv).
 “Synod Working Paper is Boring and Joyless,” Thomas Reese, National Catholic Reporter June 27, 2014.
 “The Secret Consistory: What Happened?”, La Stampa, March 14, 2014.
 For summary of Kasper at the Consistory, see Catholic Family News, April 2014 pp. 6 & 7 (articles by Father Brian Harrison and Professor Roberto de Mattei, respectively); and the conclusion of “Traditional Catholics and Noah’s Nakedness,” pp. 16-17 of the same issue.
 “Synod Working Paper is Boring and Joyless,” Reese (emphasis added).
 On this point, the Council of Trent, Session XXIV (Nov. 11, 1563) teaches infallibly: “The first parent of the human race expressed the perpetual and indissoluble bond of matrimony under the influence of the divine Spirit, when he said: "This now is bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh. Wherefore a man shall leave father and mother and shall cleave to his wife' and they shall be two in one flesh" [ Gen. 2:23 f.; cf. Eph. 5:31]. But that by this bond two only are united and joined together, Christ the Lord taught more openly, when referring to those last words, as having been uttered by God, He said: "Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh" [Matt. 19:6], and immediately ratified the strength of this same bond, pronounced by Adam so long ago in these words: "What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder" [ Matt. 19:6; Mark10:9.” Denzinger 969
 Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Father Ludwig Ott [Rockford: Tan, republished 1974], p. 467 (emphasis added).
 Denzinger 972.
 “Church Should Take New Approach Towards Question of Communion for Remarried Catholics,” Vatican Insider, Nov. 28, 2013.
 English report of the Magister write-up appeared on the web at: http://the-hermeneutic-of-continuity.blogspot.com/2014/07/italian-parish-priest-deemed-crazy-for.html
 Emphasis added in both quotes.
 Par. 2357.
 “Judge Not”, J. Vennari, Catholic Family News, March 2014.
 Unless the motives are told to us openly by the person committing these actions.
 “Courage” is for those who suffer same-sex attractions. “EnCourage” is for those who have a friend, loved one, family member, spouse, etc., who is homosexual. The group was founded by Father James Harvey, OSFS, and treats of homosexuality within the tradition of Catholic moral doctrine and practice. Courage can be accessed on line at http://couragerc.org
 If time permits, we will further discuss this section of the Working Document next month.
 Moral and Pastoral Theology, Volume III, Father Henry Davis, SJ [New York: Sheed and Ward, 1943], p. 52.
 Pastoralis action, “Instruction on Infant Baptism,” Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Oct. 20, 1980, #28, (emphasis added).
 Massachusetts School of Law, 1789, quoted from The Story Killers, Dr. Terrence O. More, [Lexington, KY: 2014], p. 19 (emphasis added).
 Traditi Humilitati, “On His Program for the Pontificate,” Inaugural Encyclical of Pope Pius VII, May 24, 1829.
 The inherent problems of “pastoral language” were foreseen by Archbishop Lefebvre even before the Council opened. In a meeting of the Preparatory Commission, Archbishop Lefebvre propose that Vatican II produced two sets of documents: one set in the precision of scholastic language for the theologians, and the other in more simple (pastoral) language for the average man. The precise scholastic texts would serve as the official interpretation of the pastoral texts. This proposal was immediately shot down. Archbishop Lefebvre saw through this ruse: "Liberals and Progressives like to live in a climate of ambiguity. The idea of clarifying the purpose of the Council annoyed them exceedingly. My proposal was thus rejected.” I Accuse the Council, Marcel Lefebvre, rev. ed. [Kansas City: Angelus Press, 2009], p. 4.
 “Thomism and the Council,” p. 465.
 Until next month, we give a thumbnail definition of Natural Law (also referred to as the natural moral law): Natural Law is “the universal, practical, obligatory judgments of reason knowable by all men as binding them to do good and avoid evil, and discovered by right reason form the nature of man adequately considered [i.e, adequately understood]”. It is “the sharing in the eternal law by the rational creature; the dictates of right reason concerning the necessary ordering of human nature.” Dictionary of Scholastic Philosophy, Bernard Wuellner, S.J. [Milwaukee: Bruce, 1955], pp. 68-69. We hope to cover more about this in the September issue.
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Taken from the August 2014 Catholic Family News (went to press morning of July 25).
Posted July 26, 2014
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