Cardinal Pell Forewarns of ‘Suicidal’ Synod

News: World News
by Jules Gomes  •  •  October 13, 2022   

Outspoken Aussie prelate condemns Vatican II's silence on communism

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VATICAN CITY ( - Cardinal George Pell is warning of catastrophic consequences for the Catholic Church if Pope Francis does not correct "serious heresies" being promoted by the German Synodal Way. 

Synodal images of a woman "priest" entwined with men

"The synodal process has begun disastrously in Germany," the Australian prelate laments, "and matters will become worse unless we soon have effective papal corrections on, for instance, Christian sexual morality, women priests, etc." 

In an essay published Wednesday in the National Catholic Register, the outspoken cardinal compares the "novelty" of Vatican II's pastoral constitution Gaudium et Spes with the German Synodal Path — part of Pope Francis' grand project of the Synod on Synodality.

The former archbishop of Melbourne and Sydney, who was imprisoned on trumped-up charges of sexual abuse and later acquitted, underscores the words of "some faithful German Catholics [who] are already talking, not of the synodal way but the suicidal way." 

Catholics Only

Referring to Pope Francis' invitation to lapsed Catholics, Protestants and even atheists to participate in the Synod on Synodality, Pell insists that "every synod has to be a Catholic synod, bound by the apostolic Tradition, just as Councils are so bound."

"We find no precedents in Catholic history for the active participation of ex-Catholics and anti-Catholics in such bodies. Only the Council Fathers, almost entirely bishops, could vote at Vatican II, and the observers were all Christians," the cardinal explains.

The post-conciliar story has not been one of glorious success.

"There can be no pluralism of important doctrines of faith or morals," Pell categorically states. "Our unity is not like that of a loose Anglican federation or that of the many national Orthodox Churches."

"Serious heresies" in the synodal process are "undermining and damaging the unity of the One, True Church," in a manner contrary to "Gaudium et Spes' call for engagement with the modern world in 'the light of the Gospel,'" he observes. 

Communism Cancelled

Expressing skepticism about Vatican II's naivete over the "optimism of a reconstructed Western Europe," and the "Teilhardian section on Christ as the Alpha and Omega" in Gaudium et Spes, Pell slams the council's refusal to address the evils of communism.

"The common view is that the conciliar silence on communism, the absence of condemnation, was the agreed price for the presence of bishops from communist Europe and for the presence of observers from the Russian Orthodox Church," Pell laments. 

The Synodal Way was doomed from the start.

While bishops from communist Europe were a blessing to the council, "the silence on communism that was actively persecuting Christians throughout Eastern Europe, Russia and China skewed the Council's perspectives," he emphasizes. 

The Second Vatican Council also "did not offer an ideal preparation for the culture wars, which have seen the dismantling of the Judeo-Christian legal foundations of marriage, life and family in many countries," Pell writes, extolling Pope Paul VI's Humanae Vitae as "more prophetic."

Cdl. Gerhard Ludwig Müller

Further, "the post-conciliar story has not been one of glorious success," and "its aftermath provides a warning of the powerful hostile forces that surround us."

In a section that takes a strikingly contrasting position from Pope Francis on the rise of populist leaders, Pell argues that the contributions of Donald Trump, Viktor Orbán or Giorgia Meloni "are not to be rejected, small as they might be, just as some of us remain grateful for Constantine and Charles V."

Pell also draws lessons from conciliar history, observing that councils "have not been held too frequently," and thus "neither should synods become too frequent," lest "they become a competitor with prayer, worship and service." 

"And history reminds us to be careful, not to build up false expectations, not to unleash forces which can escape our control," he adds. 

Nazi Synod

Last month, heresy-spouting bishops in Germany went ballistic after Swiss Cdl. Kurt Koch compared the German Synodal Path to the Church's capitulation to Nazism. 

"Where revelation is no longer the measure of proclamation and theology, but where, conversely, one's own thinking wants to decide what belongs to God's revelation, there the irresistible urge arises to develop an original theology and proclamation," Koch stressed.

History reminds us ... not to unleash forces which can escape our control.

In August, Cdl. Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, declared that the synodal process was on an "anti-Catholic, wrong track."

"I think the Synodal Way was doomed from the start, it's just that its initiators haven't realized it yet," Müller said, warning that "what is being pursued here is nothing other than division" and "a so-called reform with a crowbar."  

"The Church is founded by Christ, cannot be reformed, is unsurpassable; only we can go the way and must go the way of repentance and renewal," Müller stressed. 

Earlier, Müller sparked outrage after dismissing the Synodal Way as a "suicidal process" similar to "the situation when the Weimar Constitution was repealed by the Enabling Act," which formally set aside Germany's constitution and authorized a dictatorship.

Teilhard de Chardin (1881–1955) was a Jesuit paleontologist, theologian and philosopher, who proposed an evolutionary understanding of the "cosmic Christ," according to which the universe is constantly moving towards a point of perfection he called the "Omega Point."

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