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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Thomas Reese SJ on the upcoming synod

So the synod for the family ... the one for which the Vatican's surveys showed a majority of Catholics around the world disagreeing with the church's teachings on sex, contraception, divorce, and marriage equality ... the one the Vatican has decided will exist for the sole purpose of doubling down on those failed teachings rather than examining their worth ... it's going to have a few carefully chosen married couples along for the ride, some of whom run NFP groups for the church ... the phrase "stacking the deck" comes to mind, as well as the word "irrelevant" given that it's estimated that only 2 or 3% of Catholics ever even use NFP.

Thomas Reese SJ has a post about this - The makeup of Synod of Bishops on the family is disappointing . Here's a bit of it ...

The list of those attending the Synod of Bishops on the family is a disappointment to those hoping for reform of the Curia and for those who hope that the laity will be heard at the synod .... There are more laypeople among the 38 auditors, including 14 married couples, of whom two are from the United States. Many of the observers are employees of the Catholic church or heads of Catholic organizations, including natural family planning organizations.

For example, one couple from the United States is Jeffrey Heinzen, director of natural family planning in the diocese of La Crosse, Wis., and Alice Heinzen, member of the Natural Family Planning Advisory Board of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The other U.S. couple is Steve and Claudia Schultz, members of the International Catholic Engaged Encounter.

We will have to wait and see whether the auditors will represent to the bishops the views of lay Catholics, but it is hard to argue that they are representative of Catholics at large. Certainly any who think natural family planning is the church's great gift to the laity will not. And those who are church employees could fear losing their jobs if they spoke the truth. At the 1980 synod on the family, the lay participants were remarkable for how totally out of touch they were with the views of average Catholics. I fear this is a rerun .....


The synod will just be a PR device, I guess, to give an impression of progress in the very teeth of a denial of the reality of Catholics' lived lives.

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