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The Psychotic Synod: "A Grave Malady of Intellect"

A Key to Understand the Synod:
More Ravages from the New Theology
bshps_synod2014-cr 
The Psychotic Synod
The current crisis in the Church has “been not a crisis of faith,
but of a very grave malady of the intellect.”
– Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, 1945
 
 
By John Vennari
 
Pope St. Pius X warned of the Modernists, There is no part of Catholic truth which they leave untouched, none they do not strive to corrupt.
            At Vatican II and in the post-Conciliar period, Modernist destruction was applied primarily to Doctrine and Liturgy. Now it is applied to Catholic Morals.
            The spirit of Modernism is the true spirit at work at the recent Synod.
            The system operates on the Modernist notion that certain aspects of Catholic Truth can change over time.
            Those scheming for change may describe their work as a “greater openness,” a “less rigid attitude,” “calls for a new balance,” “an emphasis on mercy,” “pastoral solicitude,” and “allowing ourselves to be surprised by the God of surprises.”
            But this is all camouflage, and clumsy camouflage at that.
            The real principle at work is the Modernist tenet that there can be some transformation of the dogmatic message of the Church over the course of the centuries. The entire Synodal enterprise is Modernism in action, which is the same destructive poltergeist at work in the Church for the last 50+ years.
            We will demonstrate this truth, and will reveal the little-known Modernist “Inductive” method that is crucial to under October’s radical Synod.
            As long as the Synod, and today’s Vatican, is in the hands of those who believe Catholic truth can change over time, the result, at best, will be a status quo of today’s diabolic disorientation. At worst, we will see the dismantling of Catholic morals to the point of praising certain “positive aspects” of cohabitation and homosexuality, as was published in the appalling Synod mid-term document of October 13.
 
Modernism: A Malady of Intellect
 
            Father Garrigou-Lagrange, as noted already, said in 1945 while opposing the agents of the Modernist New Theology, that the current crisis in the Church has “been not a crisis of faith, but of a very grave malady of the intellect.”[1]
            A central error of Modernism is the belief that truth can change over time. This error is a deeply rooted malaise in the 20th Century Church; it is an error the pre-Vatican II Popes repeatedly attacked.
            In 1907, Pope Pius X warned that Modernists “pervert the eternal concept of truth.”[2] He further condemned in his Syllabus of Errors the heretical notion: “Truth is no more immutable than man himself, since it evolved with him, in him, and through him.”[3]
         In 1924, the same error is still with us, and the Pope must act again. Here Pius XI condemns the false proposition that “truth is always in a state of becoming, and consists in a progressive alignment [adqaequatione] of the understanding with life  … [A]s in all progression, nothing is ever determined or fixed.”[4]
            In 1946, the same error remains, this time surfacing in a repackaged version of Modernism called the “New Theology”. Here Pius XII warned,
 
 “There is a good deal of talk (but without the necessary clarity of concept), about a ‘new theology,’ which must be in constant transformation, following the example of all other things in the world, which are in a constant state of flux and movement, without ever reaching their term. If we were to accept such an opinion, what would become of the unchangeable dogmas of the Catholic Faith; and what would become of the unity and stability of that Faith?”[5]
           
            Pope Pius XII closes with a rhetorical question. He is telling us the “New Theology” will bring about the destruction of the unchangeable dogmas of the Catholic Faith, and the dismantling of the unity and stability of the Faith: in other words, the very state of affairs in which we now live, the very state of affairs brought about by Vatican II, wherein the New Theology triumphed.[6]
            The proponents of the modernist New Theology are names we well know: Fathers Henri de Lubac, Dominic Chenu, Karl Rahner, Hans Urs von Balthasar, Yves Congar, Henri Boulliard, Joseph Ratzinger, Archbishop Karol Wojtyla and others – the who’s who list of Vatican II periti.
            What remains is to explain a key method by which a modernist change of doctrine was effected by Conciliar theology, and to show this same principle as operative in the 2014 Synod, as was recently admitted by a jubilant progressivist.
 
New Doctrine
 
            Modernist theologians overturn the entire theological method to distort Catholic truth. I ask the reader to stay with me as I explain, since there are definite insights to be gained in understanding their methodology.
            In 2003, I attended (as an observer) an interfaith conference held in Fatima, Portugal. Jesuit Father Jacques Dupuis (1923-2004), the popular interreligious theologian,[7] gave a keynote speech. Regarding the Council of Florence’s infallible doctrine, “no salvation outside the Catholic Church,” Dupuis said in disgust, “There is no need to invoke here that horrible text from the Council of Florence in 1442.”
            Father Dupuis also said the purpose of dialogue is not to convert “the others” to Catholicism, but rather to help “a Christian to become a better Christian, a Hindu a better Hindu.”
            Father Dupuis further claimed “the Holy Spirit is present and operative in the sacred books of Hinduism and Buddhism. He is present and operative in the sacred rites of Hinduism.”[8]
            How did those at the Fatima Conference react to Father Dupuis’ audacity? With grand applause.
            Even more disturbing, the room contained the top brass of the Portuguese hierarchy, including the Fatima Shrine Rector, Bishop of Fatima, Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon and even Archbishop Fitzgerald from the Vatican.
            Worse, the next day, Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, then-Prefect of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, told the Congress “Father Dupuis yesterday explained the theological basis of the establishment of relations with people of other religions.” In other words, Archbishop Fitzgerald praised Dupuis’ heresies.[9]
            Why am I telling this story?
            Because it has direct bearing on the Modernist principles at work at the 2014 Synod.
 
Deductive vs. Inductive
 
            How did Father Dupuis arrive at this new (and false) notion of Catholic “truth”?
            He answers in his books: his 1997/2001 Toward a Christian Theology of Religious Pluralism, and his 2003 Christianity and the Religions: From Confrontation to Dialogue.
            In Toward a Christian Theology of Religious Pluralism, he claims there are two methods at arriving at a theological conclusion: the Deductive (the old method) and the Inductive (the new approach).
            In the Deductive method, we start with an unchangeable dogma of the Catholic Church. We then look to a given situation, social phenomenon or historical development, and interpret the situation by means of the dogma. The dogma is fixed, it cannot change, and it is the permanent basis on which to derive any theological conclusion or pastoral solution.
            An example: Starting around 1910, there was a new movement among Protestants called the “Ecumenical Movement,” an enterprise that captured the imagination of many. How does a Catholic regard it? He starts with the doctrine “no salvation outside the Church,” and concludes that any rapprochement with Protestants must have one purpose alone, to bring the non-Catholic into the Church. As Pius XI taught, “There is but one way in which the unity of Christians may be fostered, and that is by fostering the return to the one true [Catholic Church] of Christ of those who are separated from it.”[10]
            Thus, you start with Catholic dogma, which cannot be altered in any way, and arrive at a sound conclusion based on dogma.
            Jacques Dupuis says, however, that this is one method, but it is not the only method. There is also the Inductive method, which I will soon describe.
            Dupuis faults the “Deductive method” because:
            • It is “drawn from abstract principles”;
            • It allegedly leaves one “cut off from reality”;
            • It is “prejudiced dogmatically” to outside reality.
            Dupuis says the “Deductive” method is now replaced by a new approach – the “Inductive” method, which he says follows from Vatican II’s Optatum Totius, (No. 16).[11]
            Here is how the new “Inductive” approach works. We will quote Dupuis and then give a quick explanation. 
            Dupuis says, “A mythological about-face took place with the progressive introduction of a reverse method which, in contradiction to the earlier ones, can be qualified as inductive. It is no longer a question of going from the principles to concrete application, but in the opposite direction, or taking as a point of departure the reality as experienced today with the problems it raises, to search for – in light of the revealed message and through theological reflection – a Christian solution to these problems.”[12]
            This quote is found in the opening pages of Toward a Christian Theology of Religious Pluralism. He lays out his principles from the beginning.
            Here’s what Dupuis is saying: In the Inductive method, we do not start with unchanging dogma, we cannot have “rigorism” as Jesuit Bergoglio reminds us at every opportunity. Rather, we start with the lived experience of those in the world around us.
            Then, starting with this lived experience, we scan various Church documents and passages from Scripture to build a theology or new pastoral practices that takes these real-life experiences into account.
            Dupuis used this Inductive method to build a new theology of interrelations dialogue and ecumenism.
            For example, in his talk at Fatima, Dupuis twisted the meaning of the opening of St. John’s Gospel when it speaks of Christ: “It was the true light that enlightens every man who comes in the world.” Dupuis claimed we can therefore conclude that men of all religion have this true light of Christ inside them (whether they know it or not), they are already incorporated into God through this light (no need to convert to Catholicism), and therefore Sacred Scripture supports interreligious dialogue.
            Now here’s the catch: Father Dupuis got in trouble over this book with Cardinal Ratzinger, under John Paul II in January, 2001. Ratzinger published a formal “Notification” warning of five problems with Dupuis’ book, which we quote below. There are errors concerning:
 
            I) On the Sole and Universal Salvific Mediation of Jesus Christ
            II) On the Unicity and Completeness of the Divine Religion of Jesus Christ
            III) On the Universal Salvific Action of the Holy Spirit.
            IV) On the Orientation of All Human Beings to the Church
            V) On the Value and Salvific Function of Religious Traditions.[13]
 
            Notice what is missing?
            There is no warning against Dupuis’ modernist “Inductive” theological methodology that he states in the beginning of his book.
            Any well-trained Catholic seminarian or priest will recognize that the principles are where the action is. If the principles are bad, the outcome is necessarily perverse. Thus the flawed principles must first be condemned.[14]
            Cardinal Ratzinger and John Paul II did not say a word about the flawed Inductive principle. They left the principle intact, most likely because this approach is a constitutive principle within their modernist New Theology. Ratzinger only warned against the effects of the bad principle, while leaving the cause intact.
            We know this is the case, since Jacques Dupuis repeated his modernist principle in his 2003 book. Ratzinger did not condemn the “Inductive” method, in fact, he didn’t say a word about it either way, so Dupuis saw himself free to spout it again.
            At the beginning of his new book Christianity and the Religions: From Confrontation to Dialogue, Dupuis says, “With such an [Inductive] method, the problem is no longer coming down from principles to concrete applications, but rather – moving in the opposite direction – that of starting from reality as now experienced with the problem that it entails in order to seek a Christian solution to such problems in light of the revealed message and through theological reflection.” He goes on to speak of this new approach with regard to interreligious dialogue and concludes, “These are indeed questions – not abstract but quite concrete – that demand of the theology of religions a detailed response based on sincere reinterpretation of revealed data”[15]
            Did you catch that?
            We start with the reality of those around us, then look to Scripture and Church doctrine to effectively build a new practical (or “pastoral”) theology to deal with it “based on sincere reinterpretation of the revealed data.
            In this new system, Divine revelation must serve the historic circumstance, not the other way around.[16]
 
The “Inductive” Synod
 
            So here’s the question: What has this do to with the Synod?
            Everything, as the 2014 Extraordinary Synod operated on the Inductive method. Jesuit Father Thomas Reese boasted of this fact in an October 17 National Catholic Reporter write-up.
            In his article titled “How the Synod Process is Different under Pope Francis,” Father Reese lists four points on this topic, but delivers the payload in the second heading: “Inductive rather than Deductive”.
            He writes, “Past synods tended to start with Church teaching and talk about how it could be applied to the world. This follows the classical philosophical and theological method that the bishops learned in their seminaries.” In other words, the “Deductive” method.
            Reese then quotes Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops who says, “What’s happening within the synod is we’re seeing a more inductive way of reflecting, starting from the true situation of people and trying to figure out what’s going on here.”
            Reese continues, “The synod participants, the Archbishop said, are ‘finding that the lived experience of people is also a theological source – what we call a theological source, a place of theological reflection’.”
            “This approach,” explains Reese, “beginning with the data of experience, is familiar to many in the Church,” such as those involved in “social justice” work. Further, “those involved in pastoral planning also do situation assessment at the first stage of planning. Many contemporary theologians also reflect on the lived experience of Christians in the theological reflection. Rather than taking an ideal [i.e., immutable Catholic dogma] and imposing it on reality, one first reflects on reality.”[17]
            This method goes a long way explaining, for example, Cardinal Kasper’s proposal for the Synod. He starts not with immutable Catholic doctrine, but with the “lived experience” of divorced and remarried Catholics who are in difficult circumstances. Thus we should apply, in Dupuis words, “a reinterpretation of the revealed data” to arrive at a pastoral solution that allows them to receive the Holy Eucharist.
            Here’s another ‘concrete reality’ confronting the Synod Fathers. The vice of homosexuality is on the rise, and a growing number of Catholics confront this problem in their homes and families. The Synod thus hosted the uninhibited Ron and Mavis Pirola of Sydney who spoke to the Synod openly and embarrassingly about their 57-year sexual intimacy. They also told of another family with a homosexual son, and how that family welcomed the son’s ‘boyfriend’ to the family’s Christmas celebration. “They fully believed in the Church’s teaching and they knew their grandchildren would see them welcome the son and his partner into the family. Their response could be summed up in three words: ‘He’s our son’.”
            England’s Cardinal Nichols told Associated Press, “The synod gave them a round of applause.”[18]
            Thus we then see the Inductive method at work, a “reinterpretation of the revealed data,” that Catholics should be welcoming and non-judgmental to homosexuals.
            This perverse thinking manifested itself in the mid-term Synod document where we read, “Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community: are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them a fraternal space in our communities? Often they wish to encounter a Church that offers them a welcoming home. Are our communities capable of providing that, accepting and valuing their sexual orientation, without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony?”
            The mid-term document further said, “Without denying the moral problems connected to homosexual unions it has to be noted that there are cases in which mutual aid to the point of sacrifice constitutes a precious support in the life of the partners.”
            The Inductive method at work.
            Last example: vast numbers of Catholics are ignorant of Catholic morals, there are also many who know Church teaching, ignore it, and live a lifestyle in defiance of the Sixth and Ninth Commandment. Many cohabitate. Many dismiss Church doctrine and discipline regarding Marriage.
            Since the growth of this problem is the “lived reality,” we should perhaps look at the positive aspects of “stable” cohabitating relationships.[19] We should also – as was proposed at the Synod – create “new language” and no longer use “harsh” terminology such as “living in sin,” “intrinsically disordered,” and “contraceptive mentality”, for it may be hurtful to the person living this disordered lifestyle.[20] Starting with the reality of the lived experience, we see the call for an effective “reinterpretation of the revealed data”.
            This new and insipid approach, based on the Inductive method, will certainly not include the stern warning of St. Paul: “Do not err; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor the effeminate, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor the evil-tongued, nor the greedy will possess the Kingdom of God,” (1 Cor., 6:9-10).[21]
            Once we understand the nature of the Inductive method, we find it is not necessary to get too wrapped up in the avalanche of details concerning the Synod. We now know the game of the Modernists, we see how it continues to play itself out, even if the final Synod document appears more conservative than the outlandish mid-term report.
 
The “Malady of Intellect” Gallops On
 
            The homosexual-friendly statements in the mid-term document that had homosexuals cheering – and other problematic statements -  were scaled back, due to a push-back from conservative prelates, to more careful wording for the final Synod document of October 19. Despite this, the world media clearly see Bergoglio as a maverick Pontiff[22] as they interpret the final Synod document as a defeat for Pope Francis.
            Yet the document was not so much a defeat, but a momentary set-back.
            The radicals have succeeded in propagating the idea that the morality of homosexuality is a debatable issue. The magnitude of this catastrophe cannot be over-emphasized, especially since Pope Francis does not see it his duty to issue a public correction that resettles the matter once and for all.
            Further, homosexual friendly Cardinals, bishops, priests and theologians involved in the Synod will maintain their positions of influence in the chanceries, pulpits, classrooms, seminaries and in the confessional. St. Pius X would have jettisoned these men from their positions quicker than you can say Syllabus.
            Veteran Vatican journalist John Thavis noted, “It’s clear the landscape has changed. Pope Francis has pointed the Church in a new direction and the bishops have taken the first cautious steps down that path.”
            In fact, Francis’ final speech called for a Church whose doors must remain wide on “to receive the needy, the repentant, and not only the just or those who think they are perfect,” – a petulant and sophomoric remark that distorts the issues at hand. Giving the appearance of even-handedness, Francis warned against the “hostile rigidity” of the “so-called traditionalists,” and the false charity of so-called “liberals and progressivists”.[23]
            Francis further said the Church has a “year to mature,” to engage in deeper study concerning the ideas and proposals from this first Synod. The final relatio of October 19 will be the “guiding text” for Ordinary Synod in October 2015.
            At the end of Francis’ closing speech, the prelates gave him a five-minute standing ovation.
            Germany’s Cardinal Marx, who believes homosexuals in a “stable union” must be regarded as something of value,[24] characterized the 2014 Synod as “three steps forward and two steps back.”[25]
            Cardinal Louis Antonio Tagle, Archbishop of Manila, stated immediately after the Synod, “The question of divorcees remains open.”[26]
            John Thavis observed, “The ideas and proposals launched at this Synod will be coming back.”[27]
            Adolfo Nicolas, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, told i’Media religious news to watch for a possible “revolution” a year from now.[28]
            As St. Pius X warned of the Modernists, “There is no part of Catholic truth which they leave untouched, none they do not strive to corrupt.
            The progressivists are well aware they have Papa Bergoglio as their ally, and will work feverishly over the next year to further war against the reality that truth cannot change. They will cling to their “inductive” method to create a new “pastoral” theology that fits the alleged needs of the “true situation of the people”. They will pretend that closed theological questions remain open questions. Their goal is to change certain aspects of Catholic morality.
            The New Theology soldiers on, producing, as Pius XII warned, the dismantling of the unity and stability of the Faith.
            The malady of intellect, kicked into higher gear by October’s psychotic synod, will be with us for quite some time. We will publicly oppose this latest destructive initiative with all our strength.

Notes:
[1] Taken from quote on cover of The Essence and Topicality of Thomism, Reginald Garrigou Lagrange, OP, a 1945 essay published in book form in 2013 (private publisher, translation by Alan Aversa).
[2] Pascendi, #13.
[3] Syllabus of Errors, St. Pius X, Condemned Proposition #58.
[4] December 1, 1924, Holy Office: “Truth is not found in any particular act of the intellect wherein conformity with the object would be had, as the Scholastics say, but rather truth is always in a state of becoming, and consists in a progressive alignment [adqaequatione] of the understanding with life, namely a certain perpetual process, by which the intellect strives to develop and explain that which experience presents or action requires: by which principle, moreover, as in all progression, nothing is ever determined or fixed.”
[5] Quoted from “Thomism and the New Theology”, Father David Greenstock, The Thomist, Oct., 1950, p. 568.
[6] Father Henrici, SJ, a disciple of the New Theology, boasted that his system won the day at Vatican II: “Our allegiance is that tradition in the line of the ‘new theology’ of Lyons [cradle of de Lubac’s theology] which insists on the non-opposition between nature and super-nature, that is, nature and super-nature are really identical things (and consequently) between faith and culture, and which has become the official theology of Vatican II”. Fr. Henrici in his interview with 30 Days of December 1991, quoted from Si Si No No, “They Think They Have Won,” Part VIII. The Angelus, October, 1994.
[7] The Jesuit Father Jacques Dupuis was a theologian highly esteemed by today’s Conciliar progressivists.
[8] I heard this with my own ears and recorded it on tape.
[9] This and more is documented in “Fatima to Become an Interfaith Shrine? An Account from One who was There,” J. Vennari, Catholic Family News, December 2003.
[10] Mortalium Animos, Encyclical on Fostering True Christian Unity, Pope Pius XI. [Rockford: Tan, 1999)] pp. 299-301. Emphasis added.
[11] Vatican II’s Optatum Totius (on Priestly Training), it is argued, is one of the better documents of the Council. However, Father Dupuis is probably referring to one line in this document. After encouraging priestly training according to fairly sound principles and methodology, the document states, “Likewise let the other theological disciplines be renewed through a more living contact with the mystery of Christ and the history of salvation.” This one line in No. 16, obviously placed there by the proponents of the New Theology, is most likely that to which Dupuis refers. It should be noted that Father David Greenstock, writing against the New Theology in 1950, also warned against this new methodology coming from the New Theology, though using somewhat different terminology to explain it.
[12] Towards a Christian Theology of Religious Pluralism, Jacques Dupuis, [Maryknoll: Orbis, 1997 & 2001], p. 14.
[13] “Notification: On the Book ‘Toward a Christian Theology of Religious Pluralism’ by Father Jacques Dupuis, S.J.,” Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, January 24, 2001, signed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect, and Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary.
[14] I recently expounded the flawed Induction principle to a 16-year-old Catholic girl, whose immediate horrified reaction was, “Why didn’t Cardinal Ratzinger and Pope John Paul condemn that principle?” Why indeed!
[15] Christianity and the Religions: From Confrontation to Dialogue, Jacques Dupuis [Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 2003], p. 8.
[16] I have an extensive lecture wherein I describe how this method was incorporated to construct the Council Document that deals with Judaism, Nostra Aetate. CD of talk (Nostra Aetate, A “New Compass”), available at http://www.oltyn.org/page6/page49/2013newlisting.html
[17] “How the Synod Process is Different under Pope Francis,” Thomas Reese, National Catholic Reporter, October 17, 2014.
[18] “Pope and Prelates get Crash Course in Joys of Sex,” Associated Press, Oct. 7, 2014.
[19] “Cardinal [Nichols]: see the goodness in lives of people who cohabit,” Catholic Herald, Oct. 24, 2014.
[20] “Synod Hears Explosive Proposals to Drop ‘disordered,’ ‘living in sin’ etc.”, John Henry Westen, Lifesitenews, Oct. 17, 2014.
[21] Confraternity edition.
[22] “Francis Tipped his Hand,” John Allen, Crux News, October 14, 2014.
[23] “Synod Ends on a Caution Note: Pope Francis Says Church Must Open its Doors,” John Thavis, John Thavis’ blog. In truth, it has been clear where Pope Francis stands ever since February 2014 when he publicly praised Cardinal Walter Kasper’s call to work out a pastoral solution to allow Communion to the divorced and remarried.
[24] “Cardinal Marx: Exclusion is not the language of the Church, the debate remains open,” Vatican Insider, Oct. 17, 2014.
[25] “A Few More Thoughts on a Synod that Hasn’t Ended,” John Thavis, John Thavis blog.
[26] “Tagle: ‘The Question of Remarried Divorcees Remains Open’,” Vatican Insider, October 20, 2014.
[27] “A Few More Thoughts on a Synod that Hasn’t Ended”, op. cit.
[28] “Setback for Pope as Synod Fails to Agree on Gays, Divorcees,” Agence France Presse, October 18, 2014.

Went to press October 24, 2014 in CFN's November issue. Will be mailed shortly.


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dorocher-canadian
Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops said, “What’s happening within the synod is we’re seeing a more inductive way of reflecting, starting from the true situation of people and trying to figure out what’s going on here. The synod participants are finding that the lived experience of people is also a theological source – what we call a theological source, a place of theological reflection.”



























Daily Blog - 2016 Catholic News