The controversial Synod on the Family has come to an end. And what has come out of it is a murky, doesn't-really-say-much document that took three weeks to arrive at. And already the question is being raised: What was the point of all this?
The final document doesn't say much about the whole homosexual situation other than to talk about the need to accompany families with a relative who has same-sex attraction. When it comes to the big headline issue of Holy Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried, there is some ambiguity (go figure) as the issue is couched as "must be looked at on a case-by-case" situation. That could be a time-bomb waiting to go off in the coming months depending on what the Pope says, does or allows.
But faithful Catholics need to be most concerned with what we could call the "Spirit of the Synod," a mimicking of the so-called Spirit of Vatican II, which was used by liberals and progressives in the 1970s and moving forward to dismantle the Church. Father Thomas Rosica, the liberal homosexualist in the Holy See press office, is already trumpeting that very line. Rosica, you will recall, is the priest who kept pressing the case for homosexuality in the press conferences.
What cannot be ignored here is the line drawn in the sand by the African and Polish bishops, along with various others scattered throughout the Synod Hall. By combining forces they were able to create something of a stalemate tilting in favor of orthodoxy. History may record this as the beginning of the last pitched, big-scale battle between the heretics and the orthodox, with the outcome still not certain.
But what it has done, in the very least, is draw attention to the fact that there is a battle — and in this sense, it has drawn the teeth of the Enemy within the church.
Short summary: The homosexual advance toward an official blessing or acceptance by the Church has been slowed. The avenue for the divorced and civilly remarried to gain admittance to Holy Communion has been cast as not a yes or no situation, but something that will still have some legs moving into the future.
Interestingly, the required vote for passage is two thirds, which in this case comes down to 177 votes, and very early reports indicate paragraph 85, which deals with this question, passed with 178 votes.
The Church appears to be at an enormous crossroads at this point. A positive way of looking at this right now is that orthodoxy was not defeated — and for that we can be thankful to Almighty God. However — and this is a big however — this fight is not over, not by a long shot. People like homosexualists Fr. Rosica, Cdl. Donald Wuerl and their allies will not go away. They are invested in this fight till their dying days.
What do you do now as faithful Catholics? You get in the fight. You realize that the fog of war has spread across the battlefield and neither side — at this moment — has the advantage. In some way, that is an improvement for faithful Catholics than what the situation was coming into the Synod. But a little advance does not a war win.
For decades, the progressive heterodox crowd has made huge advances watering down the Faith, dressing up their wickedness in "Spirit of Vatican II" language. What this Synod appears to have done is to stall that advance, at last. But this stand-off is far from over.
At the 50-year anniversary of Vatican II, it could be the high-water mark for the liberals who are aging and not replacing themselves in vocations. Or it could be just a pause in their campaign as they rearm themselves and come back better equipped to push their cause. Which way this goes will be largely determined by faithful Catholics who will need to arm themselves faster than the enemies of Our Blessed Lord currently in the Church.
A closing note after this very tiring, exhausting month: When the very day Pope Benedict announced his resignation, February 11, 2013, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, a terrific bolt of lightning struck the cross at the top of the dome of St. Peter's Basilica. The hit was so powerful it knocked out power for blocks around the Vatican. Some viewed it as some kind of sign.
Going on three years later, as the Synod was just getting set to begin, our ChurchMilitant.com crew was up early and caught an ominous cloud, a fog creeping over the Vatican from the north. It was mysterious-looking and looked as though it could be a some kind of omen. Warnings from Heaven, unrelated weather events, just a coincidence — who knows? But we can say for certain: It is imagery that captures the reality of what has taken place since Pope Benedict abdicated and this Synod draws to its conclusion.