Cdl. Napier Drops Bomb on Political Correctness

by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th.  •  •  October 20, 2015   

Cdl. Napier: Synod's using politically correct language

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ROME, October 20, 2015 (Church - Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, responding to a question at today's Synod presser about the use of pastoral language, declared, "There's been a lot of emphasis on using language that doesn't offend, politically correct, if you like, language. I'm not sure that that's the best way to be prophetic."

The prelate from Durban, South Africa clarified what he meant by prophetic language, stating,

When we look at the problems that we've been studying during this three weeks, there are two possibilities: the one is to look at it from the pastoral point of view, where you're trying to reach out to people and to administer to them. The other one which has been, I would say, has been de-emphasized at this time, even at the Synod last year, is the prophetic, where, like John the Baptist, you say you got to repent, and these are the sins and you name them as they are. I think that's the difference.

Incidentally the specific question to which Cdl. Napier — delegate president of the Synod — responded was: "If the Church abandons the phrase 'intrinsically evil' in describing homosexual sex, anal sex ... can you tell me what specific wording, if any, has been suggested for replacing the term 'intrinsically evil'?"

Polite, pastoral language is becoming more of a hot-button issue as the Synod heads to its conclusion this weeked. Many are wondering what language will be used by the 10-member drafting committee charged with preparing the Synod's final report.

To this end, Napier, the number three man at the synod, last week voiced his apprehension over the 10 members of the drafting committee, stating, "I really would share" concerns about "the choice of the people that are writing up the final document." He added, "If we're going to get a fair expression of what the Synod is about, [such as] what the Church in Africa really would like to see happening," he said, then different people should be chosen.

"We wouldn't like to see the same kind of people on that committee who were there the last time, who caused us the grief that we had," he said, referring to a controversial interim report in last year's synod with its dubious wording.

Reporting from Rome,'s Michael Voris said of this press conference, "In one way, it was sort of the most realistic press briefing giving an account of what should be the case, what the Church should be talking about, of all the various problems besetting families." Watch his account of Tuesday's press briefing below:


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