DEN BOSCH, Netherlands (ChurchMilitant.com) - A faithful Dutch bishop says he has quit Pope Francis' "damned" synodal project because "God is out of the picture" and "the Holy Spirit has absolutely nothing to do with it."
Bp. Rob Mutsaerts, who serves in the diocese of 's-Hertogenbosch, has excoriated the synodal process as "almost blasphemous" for providing "a megaphone for secular views" and mimicking a "sociological experiment" that is "unpastoral" and "unloving."
"What is becoming increasingly clear is that the synodal process is going to be used to change a number of ecclesiastical views," Mutsaerts thunders in a column on his blog Purple Peppers.
The synodal process is being manipulated by throwing the Holy Spirit "into the fray as a lawyer" to defend polygamous and LGBTQ+ relationships, even though the Holy Spirit has "breathed something quite contrary over the centuries," the prelate wrote Friday.
"Among the protagonists of this process are a little too many defenders of same-sex marriage, people who don't really consider abortion a problem and never really show themselves defenders of the rich faith of the church, who mainly want to be liked by their secular environment," he explains.
Mutsaerts slams the synodal experts for listening to "those who do not agree with the teachings of the Catholic Church" and drawing up a "list of complaints" as the basis of the working document, which was presented at the end of October in the Vatican.
"The mission of the Church is different. It's not: research all the opinions and then let's make a deal. Jesus commanded us to do something else: proclaim the truth; it is the truth that will set you free," the outspoken bishop declares.
Mutsaerts castigates the "listening sessions" for endorsing an "evaporated faith, which is no longer practiced" and which rejects Church teaching and refuses to discuss "repentance" because "people don't want to call sin sin anymore."
The prelate also blasts the synodal process as a "pointless exercise" for its promotion of female priests, deacons and lay preachers, even though "the last three pontificates have explicitly stated that this is an impossibility."
"In politics everything is open to discussion and debate. Not in the Church," Mutsaerts notes. "We have something like an ecclesiastical doctrine that is not subject to time and place. But the working document really does seem to question everything."
Mutsaerts eviscerates the synod's working document for reducing the office of bishop "to simply carrying out what is ultimately the lowest common denominator as the outcome of a raffle of opinions," since bishops are asked to validate and approve the final document.
"The final phase of the synodal process cannot but turn out like a Polish Diet. All those who don't get their way will say they're locked out. If everyone gets their way — which is actually not possible — the disaster is complete," he predicts. "Then the Church has denied herself and squandered her identity."
"People want sincere answers. They don't want to go home with more questions. You keep people from salvation. I have now dropped out of the synodal process," Mutsaerts concludes.
The prelate laments how traditionalists are literally excluded by Pope Francis from the synodal process and how "[a]pparently there is no empathy whatsoever for this group."
Last year, the prelate published a column on his blog noting Francis' suppression of the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) "has nothing to do with evangelization" but "is more like ideology," Church Militant reported.
Mutsaerts called the pontiff's edict on the TLM "a perfectly clear declaration of war," noting "Francis is shooting himself in the foot with this motu proprio."
"Liturgy is not a toy of popes; it is the heritage of the Church," Mutsaerts argued. "The Old Mass is not about nostalgia or taste. The pope should be the guardian of Tradition; the pope is a gardener, not a manufacturer."
"The Church has never abolished liturgies. Not even Trent did so. Francis breaks completely with this tradition," wrote the bishop, calling the pontiff's edict "a writ of execution" and "a slap in the face of his predecessors."
In March 2020, Mutsaerts resigned some of his administrative responsibilities in the diocese of 's-Hertogenbosch because of differences with his ultra-progressive diocesan bishop Gerard de Korte, who opened his cathedral for a "Pink Saturday" LGBT event.
Earlier, Mutsaerts had censured the Amazon Synod in his blog. "Whereas our vocabulary once consisted of words such as 'our Mother the Church,' 'hellfire,' and 'virtues,' now it's all about Mother Earth, Amazonian fires and ecology," he wrote.
Calling the Amazon Synod "the most politically correct meeting of all time" and warning it had opened a "Pandora's box" of theological innovations, Mutsaerts remarked, "It's a relief Greta Thunberg has not yet been chosen to be a cardinal."