Saturday, October 24, 2015


Dear Beatitudes, Eminences and Excellencies,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I would like first of all to thank the Lord, who has guided our synodal process in these years by his Holy Spirit, whose support is never lacking to the Church.

My heartfelt thanks go to Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, Secretary General of the Synod, Bishop Fabio Fabene, its Under-Secretary, and, together with them, the Relator, Cardinal Peter Erdő, and the Special Secretary, Archbishop Bruno Forte, the Delegate Presidents, the writers, consultors and translators, and all those who have worked tirelessly and with total dedication to the Church: My deepest thanks!

I likewise thank all of you, dear Synod Fathers, Fraternal Delegates, Auditors and Assessors, parish priests and families, for your active and fruitful participation.

And I thank all those unnamed men and women who contributed generously to the labours of this Synod by quietly working behind the scenes.

Be assured of my prayers, that the Lord will reward all of you with his abundant gifts of grace!

As I followed the labours of the Synod, I asked myself: What will it mean for the Church to conclude this Synod devoted to the family?

Certainly, the Synod was not about settling all the issues having to do with the family, but rather attempting to see them in the light of the Gospel and the Church’s tradition and two-thousand-year history, bringing the joy of hope without falling into a facile repetition of what is obvious or has already been said.

Surely it was not about finding exhaustive solutions for all the difficulties and uncertainties which challenge and threaten the family, but rather about seeing these difficulties and uncertainties in the light of the Faith, carefully studying them and confronting them fearlessly, without burying our heads in the sand.

It was about urging everyone to appreciate the importance of the institution of the family and of marriage between a man and a woman, based on unity and indissolubility, and valuing it as the fundamental basis of society and human life.

It was about listening to and making heard the voices of the families and the Church’s pastors, who came to Rome bearing on their shoulders the burdens and the hopes, the riches and the challenges of families throughout the world.

It was about showing the vitality of the Catholic Church, which is not afraid to stir dulled consciences or to soil her hands with lively and frank discussions about the family.

It was about trying to view and interpret realities, today’s realities, through God’s eyes, so as to kindle the flame of faith and enlighten people’s hearts in times marked by discouragement, social, economic and moral crisis, and growing pessimism.

It was about bearing witness to everyone that, for the Church, the Gospel continues to be a vital source of eternal newness, against all those who would “indoctrinate” it in dead stones to be hurled at others.

It was also about laying closed hearts, which bare the closed hearts which frequently hide even behind the Church’s teachings or good intentions, in order to sit in the chair of Moses and judge, sometimes with superiority and superficiality, difficult cases and wounded families.

It was about making clear that the Church is a Church of the poor in spirit and of sinners seeking forgiveness, not simply of the righteous and the holy, but rather of those who are righteous and holy precisely when they feel themselves poor sinners.

It was about trying to open up broader horizons, rising above conspiracy theories and blinkered viewpoints, so as to defend and spread the freedom of the children of God, and to transmit the beauty of Christian Newness, at times encrusted in a language which is archaic or simply incomprehensible.

In the course of this Synod, the different opinions which were freely expressed – and at times, unfortunately, not in entirely well-meaning ways – certainly led to a rich and lively dialogue; they offered a vivid image of a Church which does not simply “rubberstamp”, but draws from the sources of her faith living waters to refresh parched hearts.1

And – apart from dogmatic questions clearly defined by the Church’s Magisterium – we have also seen that what seems normal for a bishop on one continent, is considered strange and almost scandalous for a bishop from another; what is considered a violation of a right in one society is an evident and inviolable rule in another; what for some is freedom of conscience is for others simply confusion. Cultures are in fact quite diverse, and each general principle needs to be inculturated, if it is to be respected and applied.2 The 1985 Synod, which celebrated the twentieth anniversary of the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council, spoke of inculturation as “the intimate transformation of authentic cultural values through their integration in Christianity, and the taking root of Christianity in the various human cultures”.Inculturation does not weaken true values, but demonstrates their true strength and authenticity, since they adapt without changing; indeed they quietly and gradually transform the different cultures.4

We have seen, also by the richness of our diversity, that the same challenge is ever before us: that of proclaiming the Gospel to the men and women of today, and defending the family from all ideological and individualistic assaults.

And without ever falling into the danger of relativism or of demonizing others, we sought to embrace, fully and courageously, the goodness and mercy of God who transcends our every human reckoning and desires only that “all be saved” (cf. 1 Tm 2:4). In this way we wished to experience this Synod in the context of the Extraordinary Year of Mercy which the Church is called to celebrate.

Dear Brothers,

The Synod experience also made us better realize that the true defenders of doctrine are not those who uphold its letter, but its spirit; not ideas but people; not formulae but the gratuitousness of God’s love and forgiveness. This is in no way to detract from the importance of formulae, laws and divine commandments, but raather to exalt the greatness of the true God, who does not treat us according to our merits or even according to our works but solely according to the boundless generosity of his Mercy (cf. Rom 3:21-30; Ps 129; Lk 11:37-54). It does have to do with overcoming the recurring temptations of the elder brother (cf. Lk 15:25-32) and the jealous labourers (cf. Mt 20:1-16). Indeed, it means upholding all the more the laws and commandments which were made for man and not vice versa (cf. Mk 2:27).

In this sense, the necessary human repentance, works and efforts take on a deeper meaning, not as the price of that salvation freely won for us by Christ on the cross, but as a response to the One who loved us first and saved us at the cost of his innocent blood, while we were still sinners (cf. Rom 5:6).

The Church’s first duty is not to hand down condemnations or anathemas, but to proclaim God’s mercy, to call to conversion, and to lead all men and women to salvation in the Lord (cf. Jn 12:44-50).

Blessed Paul VI expressed this eloquently: “”We can imagine, then, that each of our sins, our attempts to turn our back on God, kindles in him a more intense flame of love, a desire to bring us back to himself and to his saving plan… God, in Christ, shows himself to be infinitely good… God is good. Not only in himself; God is – let us say it with tears – good for us. He loves us, he seeks us out, he thinks of us, he knows us, he touches our hearts us and he waits for us. He will be – so to say – delighted on the day when we return and say: ‘Lord, in your goodness, forgive me. Thus our repentance becomes God’s joy”.5

Saint John Paul II also stated that: “the Church lives an authentic life when she professes and proclaims mercy… and when she brings people close to the sources of the Saviour’s mercy, of which she is the trustee and dispenser”.6

Benedict XVI, too, said: “Mercy is indeed the central nucleus of the Gospel message; it is the very name of God… May all that the Church says and does manifest the mercy God feels for mankind. When the Church has to recall an unrecognized truth, or a betrayed good, she always does so impelled by merciful love, so that men may have life and have it abundantly (cf. Jn 10:10)”.7

In light of all this, and thanks to this time of grace which the Church has experienced in discussing the family, we feel mutually enriched. Many of us have felt the working of the Holy Spirit who is the real protagonist and guide of the Synod. For all of us, the word “family” has a new resonance, so much so that the word itself already evokes the richness of the family’s vocation and the significance of the labours of the Synod.8

In effect, for the Church to conclude the Synod means to return to our true “journeying together” in bringing to every part of the world, to every diocese, to every community and every situation, the light of the Gospel, the embrace of the Church and the support of God’s mercy!

Thank you!
1 Cf. Letter of His Holiness Pope Francis to the Grand Chancellor of the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina on the Centenary of its Faculty of Theology, 3 March 2015.

2 Cf. Pontifical Biblical Commission, Fede e cultura alla luce della Bibbia. Atti della Sessione plenaria 1979 della Pontificia Commissione Biblica, LDC, Leumann, 1981; SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Gaudium et Spes, 44.

3 Final Relatio (7 December 1985), L’Osservatore Romano, 10 December 1985, 7.

4 “In virtue of her pastoral mission, the Church must remain ever attentive to historical changes and to the development of new ways of thinking. Not, of course, to submit to them, but rather to surmount obstacles standing in the way of accepting her counsels and directives” (Interview with Cardinal Georges Cottier, in La Civiltà Cattolica 3963-3964, 8 August 2015, p. 272).

5 Homily, 23 June 1968: Insegnamenti VI (1968), 1177-1178.

Dives in Misericordia, 13. He also said: “In the paschal mystery… God appears to us as he is: a tender-hearted Father, who does not give up in the face of his childrens’ ingratitude and is always ready to forgive (JOHN PAUL II, Regina Coeli, 23 April 1995: Insegnamenti XVIII, 1 [1995], 1035). So too he described resistance to mercy: “The present-day mentality, more perhaps than that of people in the past, seems opposed to a God of mercy, and in fact tends to exclude from life and to remove from the human heart the very idea of mercy. The word and the concept of ‘mercy’ seem to cause uneasiness…” (Dives in Misericordia [30 November 1980] 2).

Regina Coeli, 30 March 2008: Insegnamenti IV, 1 (2008), 489-490. Speaking of the power of mercy, he stated: “it is mercy that sets a limit to evil. In it is expressed God’s special nature – his holiness, the power of truth and of love” (Homily on Divine Mercy Sunday, 15 April 2007: Insegnamenti III, 1 [2007], 667).

8 An acrostic look at the word “family” [Italian: “famiglia”] can help us summarize the Church’s mission as the task of: Forming new generations to experience love seriously, not as an individualistic search for a pleasure then to be discarded, and to believe once again in true, fruitful and lasting love as the sole way of emerging from ourselves and being open to others, leaving loneliness behind, living according to God’s will, finding fulfilment, realizing that marriage is “an experience which reveals God’s love, defending the sacredness of life, every life, defending the unity and indissolubility of the conjugal bond as a sign of God’s grace and of the human person’s ability to love seriously” (Homily for the Opening Mass of the Synod, 4 October 2015: L’Osservatore Romano, 5-6 October 2015, p. 7) and, furthermore, enhancing marriage preparation as a means of providing a deeper understanding of the Christian meaning of the sacrament of Matrimony; Approaching others, since a Church closed in on herself is a dead Church, while a Church which does leave her own precincts behind in order to seek, embrace and lead others to Christ is a Church which betrays her very mission and calling; Manifesting and bringing God’s mercy to families in need; to the abandoned, to the neglected elderly, to children pained by the separation of their parents, to poor families struggling to survive, to sinners knocking on our doors and those who are far away, to the differently able, to all those hurting in soul and body, and to couples torn by grief, sickness, death or persecution; Illuminating consciences often assailed by harmful and subtle dynamics which even attempt to replace God the Creator, dynamics which must be unmasked and resisted in full respect for the dignity of each person; Gaining and humbly rebuilding trust in the Church, which has been gravely weakened as a result of the conduct and sins of her children – sadly, the counter-witness of scandals committed in the Church by some clerics have damaged her credibility and obscured the brightness of her saving message; Labouring intensely to sustain and encourage those many strong and faithful families which, in the midst of their daily struggles, continue to give a great witness of fidelity to the Church’s teachings and the Lord’s commandments; Inventing renewed programmes of pastoral care for the family based on the Gospel and respectful of cultural differences, pastoral care which is capable of communicating the Good News in an attractive and positive manner and helping banish from young hearts the fear of making definitive commitments, pastoral care which is particularly attentive to children, who are the real victims of broken families, pastoral care which is innovative and provides a suitable preparation for the sacrament of Matrimony, rather than so many programmes which seem more of a formality than training for a lifelong commitment; Aiming to love unconditionally all families, particularly those experiencing difficulties, since no family should feel alone or excluded from the Church’s loving embrace, and the real scandal is a fear of love and of showing that love concretely.

Nice speech! Pope Francis looked relaxed and pleased. Looks like he forgot that half cape "signifying papal magisterium." Not to mention the sash so many of nitwits in black and purple-pink wear all the time. Francis never bothered spending thousands of Euros having his sash embroidered with his coat of arms. Great day. Great speech. Great Pope.

Really great day because in that old Tridentine calendar today was the Feast of Saint Raphael the Archangel. He was an ancient Guardian Angel of Travelers because he helped Tobias and his puppy dog make that long trip, grab the family money, snag a hot wife without dying on the wedding night, and then make it home safe with fancy fish liver to cure Daddy's eyes wrecked when that bird shit fell into them.
So speaking of bird shit and brain shit, it will be a perfect day for RETROrate to pack up its Bitter Bag o' Onions and for Reverend Mother Cunniwicke and Fr Zildo and Crushed Boner Thrilling and TurdBlossom and all the rest of the angry Scribes and Pharisees and KKK (Krazy Katholic Konverts) to head on off to their new pad!
Where the anathemas and condemnations are going strong!
Meanwhile, let's close the day with a fitting Thank You, God! done up real cool in the traditional Gregorian chant from the monasteries!
But doing my bit for the those we all hope who might be leaving us, I think we should play the Te Deum done by The Ordinary Newton's kid brother, Make Believe Bishop Before and Now Monsignor Keith Newton's, kid brother Wayne!


  1. Thank you for posting...the Year of Mercy has begun!

  2. You can't see his sash because all of the other pool photos show that he's actually wearing a greca to keep warm.

  3. Father D, what would you do if they left? All Gay Ray all day I suppose. Maybe Father Corupti will return from White, maybe not.

    1. The Backdoordinariate will be with us for decades. No facial beards or marital beards allowed in the SSPX. I think my vast and very lucrative blogging bu$ine$$ will weather any exodus to Econe.

  4. The true defenders of doctrine are those that make noise about mercy and give pretty speeches about it while not actually doing anything to actually make the Church more open and merciful like Pope Francis enjoys doing. The fact that types like Sandro Magister are happy about the outcomes suggest that the reactionary forces won.

    1. No, he's just taking the lead from Pell. The mentality emerges from a power which is defeated in a conflict but is swept up in a tidal surge of cognitive dissonance, declares victory and goes home.....limping!

    2. Onion Bags from Rorate and St Hugely Looney will be growing extra facial hair now to cope with his angst.

      Praying for Pacelli to help them. Onions must be one of the Marys gathered around Pacelli's tomb waiting for him to rise and come to their rescue. All of those ex-PECUSA kooks must be Henry VIII's revenge on us.

    3. But they have spun it as a defeat for the liberals. This includes godawful Damien the British Troll, etc. The conservatives are also spinning this as no endorsement of Communion but ridiculous ideas like suggesting that remarried people can be godparents. (Yep, that is what is preventing remarried people from returning to the Church.)

      And I have no idea what Pope Francis' deal is. Does he really want reforms or does he just like talking about mercy and fluff and welcome? It is starting to seem to me like the latter. He certainly enjoys reforms that are meaningless but sound substantive like the weak tea annulment "reforms" he put out there last month.

    4. "the weak tea annulment "reforms" he put out there last month."

      while not changing the substance of the annulment idea, those reforms will in fact make my life easier.

    5. What? By giving you a decision one month earlier than you would have otherwise gotten it.. Big deal. You still have to fill out the long form with intrusive questions, get other people to fill out the same forms, and write a big check. And this is if you have an amicable divorce with a willing partner. It doesn't help an abuse victim who doesn't wish to deal with his/her ex-spouse or someone who does not have witnesses.

      If I was a remarried person, I would refuse to participate in the annulment farce. And I encourage all remarried people to examine their own worthiness to receive Communion through the internal forum instead and just ignore the Church courts. If everyone just stuck it to the Church on this, then the annulment ponzi scheme would just collapse.

    6. it will cut by as much as half the time to get a decision, and it will save me, at least, $1100, as i don't, in fact, have to cut a check anymore, nor did anyone previously, who couldn't afford it. i don't find the questions intrusive, they're necessary for the process, and the respondent isn't required to participate, let me repeat that, isn't required to participate, so does not have to fill out any form. i don't have witnesses, and there is provision for that, at least in the diocese to which I'm petitioning.

      you clearly don't know what you're talking about. so why the petulance?

    7. So you want to drink the Kool-Aid and are willing to play ball with Francis' version of #falsemercy and want to demand others follow suit. Fine. Please continue to screw over other remarried people who do not want to play ball with the Church and its evil brand of #falsemercy by playing ball with them.

      As for your other queries...

      " it will save me, at least, $1100, as i don't, in fact, have to cut a check anymore, nor did anyone previously, who couldn't afford it."
      So people who can afford $1100 should have to pay it. Most middle class people could afford that fee but have better things to do with their money. Oh and Chicago is not eliminating their nearly $1K annulment fees. Free annulments has nothing to do with Francis' #falsemercy annulment "reforms."

      "i don't find the questions intrusive"
      You enjoy discussing your private life, including sex at length?

      "the respondent isn't required to participate,"
      But abusive sociopaths can use the process to make ex-spouses lives miserable.

      "i don't have witnesses, and there is provision for that, at least in the diocese to which I'm petitioning. "
      Really? Where? How do you make a court case without witnesses. Witnesses are definitely required in Chicago.

      "you clearly don't know what you're talking about. so why the petulance?"

      Because I think that the neo-cons' hypocritical Church of #falsemercy supported by Pope Francis, which relies heavily on the annulment racket is awful. I myself have been hurt many times by the neo-con Church of #falsemercy that Francis is shilling.

  5. I’m not an expert on this stuff but I’m delighted with what I see: it’s just more of the same classic Bergoglio double-speak and fluffy emotions - all you need is love, man. It’s all the fault of us pesky Mass-goers! We need to be more welcoming to the remarried. (Actually, one of them does the welcoming ministry in our parish).

    Some words of a previous encyclical were hijacked to make it appear (wrongly) that JPII might have been happy to contemplate communion for the divorced; but considering the Francis Effect currently afflicting the Church, the Synod hasn’t really advanced the Revolution very much. There will no doubt be upcoming liberal attempts to appeal to the “Spirit of the Synod”, but with a large majority of bishops apparently voting against communion, hopefully we can play for time until Francis has gone. A reference made to “discernment” in the context of both the Church’s teaching “and the orientations of the Bishop”, suggesting some kind of regional pluralism, is perhaps a little more worrying.

    Rad Trads, of course, spin the narrative they wove before the Synod began: it was going to be the end of the world as we know it and it was all the fault of Vatican II and the Novus Ordo, and the SSPX were right all along.

    I hope the Aussies give Argentina a beating in the rugby today. Nothing personal.

    1. Why don't you and Mother Cuntwick together with Damian and his BF have a gin and tonic (and a few other things) and celebrate? Imagine how happy the C of E is to be rid of pieces of shit like all of you. I'm delighted that we are not what you were looking for and hope you'll grow more and more unhappy. Although reading your shit makes it hard to imagine you feeling worse than you do. ECONE is AWAITING you! Beards and boyfriends and all!

    2. Dear Anon, I’ve read your comment over and over, and you know what? My heart goes out to you and I wish you well. If you are searching for God in sincerity of heart then I truly hope you will find what you are looking for.

      Most, if not all of the assumptions you make in your comment are, I’m afraid, wrong.

      God bless you, mate.

    3. Oh Mundaybor, spare anon any hopes. No one who is a happy RC wants your best wishes, hopes, etc. Spare us your "prayers" too. What hypocrisy! Of the assumptions I hope are not wrong: that you'll get the hell out of our Church and go to some sick dump that deserves you and that you deserve. The Bishop Fellay Show is perfect I think.

    4. And the wanking from Munday, the Kipper and pint niggler, despite warnings from the short sighted Anglican village idiot parson that it would pobably make him go blind.

  6. Final photo caption under Zildo's DAY 2: ROME post:

    Hey guys! Check out the homeless addict in the alleyway - god, the things I put up with in order to spend your money.
    "Across from my front door. I especially like the guy doing drugs on the left hand side. Bless him." --Father John Zuhlsdorf

  7. And now for yet another truck load of contrived studied indifference from the seasoned fraudster and professional dissembler:

    What Did The Synod Really Say? Some analysis of the Final Report.

    Posted on 25 October 2015 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

    "As I mentioned in an earlier post, since I have been on pilgrimage, I’ve tried to be in as much of a Synod Free Zone as possible.

    However, I am gifted with some pretty good sources who are following everything closely.

    I’ve been brought up to date.

    I will hereunder share an edited version of something I got via email. It is reliable. For now I will leave him in the safe shadows of anonymity but hereby send public thanks for his work.

    Here we go…"

    Note too, the Brass Ass' criticism of the 'Pilgrimage' being overly Italian and French in both organization and participation. What he's really pissed off about is that Gay Ray didn't get to wear the brocade and lace at the Line-dance finale and Lacy Boy didn't get to be deacon.
    He'll just continue to overcompensate by eating his way through Rome until it's time for his return first class 'My View for a while' all funded by the wide eyed, gob smacked 'minions.'

    I bet the manipulative bastard can't believe his luck that there a so many gullible idiots still out there.

  8. The potential Booker Prize winning novel is fast taking shape: a tale of fabricated intrigues, secret rendezvous with informants, emotional engineering, financial fraud on a vast scale, serial gluttony, self-indulgence and self-aggrandisement; hysteria beatups and terminal overacting. This is Brass Ass' Roman journal.

    The minions will not twig to the fact that it's just another 'Hard Identity Catholicism' fundraising campaign. He doesn't give a hoot in hell about the Synod just what it has generated in potential income:

    "While here in Rome, I have each day been saying Mass for my benefactors for this Rome trip. Today I will be saying Mass for you sometime between 1800-1900 think) Rome time. If I am not mistake, in the USA the Daylight Savings is still on. It dropped off here last weekend. So, that would be 1200-1300 CDT. The wavy flag gives you a page to send a donation. My last full day here is 28 October (my birthday, by the by), Feast of Simon and Jude.
    Again… I’m trying not to immerse myself too much in Synod stuff today or the last few days. It was a pilgrimage for me and I am trying mostly for time with friends, prayer, rest and errands without getting down into the muck. I did that for a long time when I lived here. Still, some things have gotten under my skin. I can’t ignore the Synod completely while here. Frankly, last night I was upset enough that I would up walking around town for a few hours reciting the Rosary. It helped. I am determined to form a battle plan in view of what I think is headed our way. I’m concerned.
    Anyway, here is some analysis, rewritten here and there, edited a bit, from a friend who has been really paying attention......." (AKA, Brass Ass himself!)

  9. What is the letter of the following passage? What is the spirit of it? How can the spirit be opposed to the letter and vice versa?

    "Every one who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery"

    1. "Every one who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery"

      what if the wife abandons the marriage to live in adultery with someone else, won't file for divorce, won't reconcile, and, eventually, won't respond to the husband, but the husband doesn't marry anyone else (yet)? asking for a friend!

    2. Send copious amounts of money to the primate of the jurisdiction you need ecclesial relief from and they'll take care of you. Think of Zuhlsdorf... He'd grant absolution for fucking a roast beef if the honorarium was right.

  10. Z is trying to raise $7000 to cover Giganto Morlino in drapery from Gammarelli:

    That's listening to the Holy Father innit?