Over the weekend, the official Synod of Bishops accounts on Facebook and Twitter posted scandalous images designed by artist Becky McIntyre. The Synod of Bishops is a permanent body of bishops acting in an advisory role to the pope via periodic meetings.
Perhaps the most egregious of the six artworks depicts a group of five individuals in front of a church. One of the women is dressed in priest attire and another young person — whose gender is ambiguous — appears to be shouting, "We are the young people of the future, and the future is now!"
Oh, and just in case you were ������������ worried the #Synod on Synodality wasn't going to meet expectations, behold: women priests & pride shirts as the "future"! ��— Matthew Hazell (@M_P_Hazell) September 27, 2022
(source: Antilles Episcopal Conference, Facebook page: https://t.co/9qvuSRvnLB; note @Synod_va logo in top left) https://t.co/9kT1qRqUwQ pic.twitter.com/ODsJW4QPjD
The disturbing post prompted Catholic commentator Matthew Hazell to tweet, "Oh, and just in case you were really worried the #Synod on Synodality wasn't going to meet expectations, behold: women priests & pride shirts as the 'future'!"
Another telling picture spells out the artist's view, and seemingly the Synod's as well, of changes that need to happen to the Church.
Img 2 is perhaps the worst. Pay attention to the pairing:— Br. Anthony Maria Akerman, OP (@AnthonyMariaOP) September 24, 2022
Exclusion to Inclusion
Abuse, Deep Care
Catholic Identity, LGBTQ+ Identity
Scripture, Radical Hospitality
It's about what to abandon and what to embrace.
Another of the art pieces lists the things viewed as wrong in the Church and then depicts a bridge "to accountability."
It counts "hierarchy," "partisan politics" and "priest biases" among the problems facing the Church. These are grouped with left-wing talking points like "gender and LGBTQ+ discrimination," "racism" and "exclusion."
The document goes on to reveal many respondents want a more "welcoming" environment for sodomy and for women to have governance, including ordination.
Many faithful Catholics are worried about what will happen when the bishops meet next October for the Synod on Synodality. This global meeting in Rome in 2023 will come on the heels of local meetings of laity in dioceses around the world. In many places, documents resulting from the processes on the local level discuss heterodox positions.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops clearly acknowledged in the National Synthesis report — which reflects a broad array of input by local Catholics — many are calling for heterodox changes within the Church. The report quotes one "synodal consultation" document as saying:
People noted that the Church seems to prioritize doctrine over people, rules, and regulations over lived reality. People want the Church to be a home for the wounded and broken, not an institution for the perfect. They want the Church to meet people where they are, wherever they are, and walk with them rather than judging them; to build real relationships through care and authenticity, not superiority.
Speaking last week on the laity's role in the Synod on Synodality, Maltese cardinal Mario Grech — head of the Vatican's synod office — stated, "Let us trust in our people. Let us trust that the Holy Spirit acts in and with our people. And this Spirit is not merely a property of the ecclesial hierarchy."
The hierarchy is now seemingly trusting the people it has failed to catechize for decades to help create a revolution in the Church.