Monday's press briefing just ended a little while ago. And I'm going to tell you, in this third and final week, it seems like the world press is being set up for an introduction of some very strange things because the language that is being used in this last maybe three or four days in various interviews is now starting to pop up.
Archbishop Mark Coleridge from Brisbane, Australia was on the dais today and he kept using this phrase that we're having a "language event," that the Synod is turning into a "language event" and we have to do a lot of "listening."
I have to tell you, this phrase "language event" — pay attention to this because this was first said I believe Thursday or Friday of last week. It popped up in an interview with some media here by Washington, DC archbishop Cdl. Donald Wuerl. He used this phrase that we're having a "language event." He said, "Vatican II was a language event. And we're having a language event here sort of along that same spirit, following along in that same vein."
And you know what's really funny? You'll hear many of these bishops say, "Oh, there's too much 'Church speak.' People don't understand what we are saying. We have to have to have a language event."
A language event? You think that's clear? Nobody in the room knows what that means. I don't even know that the people saying it know what that means. They're just repeating phrases that they've heard that sound all intellectual.
The other thing that's very troubling is that we are hearing — again it was Abp. Coleridge saying it — but there were other bishops saying the same thing in interviews and everything, that we have to "listen." We have to be a Church that "listens" to people. And that phrase, at least politically, is very dangerous from a progressive political standpoint.
If you remember when Hillary Clinton was running for U.S. senator for New York, she first went on a "listening tour," and she went around to all these different community places and town hall meetings. I think she went to 10 or 12 different places, if my memory serves me correctly, on a "listening tour." She didn't listen to anything! She already had her mind made up about all this stuff; it was just a big PR publicity stunt. Whenever people of authority say, "I am going to sit down and I want to listen," it should ring some alarm bells. It doesn't necessarily mean that something immoral or unethical going on, but certainly much has gone on under that umbrella of "listening."
So those are the two big things. Those are the words that came up at today's press conference, and they were just echoing what Cdl. Donald Wuerl was saying the whole time: "language event”" (and nobody really knows what that means) and "listening." They're very troublesome terms because they are so elastic; you have no idea what can follow in their wake.