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It's almost here. The curtain is beginning to rise on the Synod Showdown. By this weekend all the delegates will be assembled in Rome, and the great clash will be underway.
Of course, those clerics and their fan boys who are agitating for change keep dismissing all the talk of showdown and clashes and arguments. They want to downplay it as much as possible. But for those who have been paying close attention to all the behind-the-scenes drama (and the not-so-behind-the-scenes drama), it's very clear that the dynamite has been laid, and all that's left is for the match to be struck.
There are cardinals and bishops and archbishops present in Rome who have made quite clear that they support giving Holy Communion to divorced and remarried Catholics. There are others who have openly lobbied for not only homosexuality to be welcomed and celebrated as a great gift to the Church, but others who actually have publicly stated the Church should begin marrying homosexual men and women. These agitators are looking for a way to overthrow Church teaching in practice while keeping up the appearance, at least in most cases, of not hurting it.
Since last year's Synod the battle has heated up even further — secret meetings, charges of schism, calls from the faithful pleading for Pope Francis to take decisive action. One petition by our good friends at TFP [Tradition, Family and Property] has garnered nearly a million signatures in the past few months from concerned Catholics all over the world.
And now, at the last hour, it appears that what might politely be called "a stacking of the deck" is going on by the Synod organizers. Everyone understands the simple notion that whoever makes the rules usually wins the game. Various faithful Catholics are firing warning shots and sounding alarms that rules and guideline procedures being changed in the final day leading up to the Synod are being made to produce a positive outcome for theological progressives who want the radical changes.
How this all plays out is still somewhat uncertain, but it is certain that a great clash is about to happen that will potentially impact the Church for decades to come. There are progressives in Rome that have been reaching for the proverbial brass ring for quite some time, and it appears they have never been closer than they are right now to securing their goal: a total and complete representation of Catholic teaching in the minds of the faithful, where the appearance is left intact but the substance is gutted.
While many are comparing this moment to what followed in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, a more apt analogy might be what happened to the Church in Reformation England. When Elizabeth came to the throne in 1558, she set out on a 40-year campaign to gut the Catholic faith while keeping much of its outward trappings. (As an aside, that's why the Church of England looks pretty Catholic from the outside even today. But of course, it isn't at all.)
This is what numerous bishops and cardinals are trying to accomplish. They've been trying this for decades now — to keep the faithful dumb as they slowly lead them away from the authentic faith. So they have to talk in slightly familiar vocabulary and use terms and phrases that have some distant echo of Catholicism, but all the while they are scheming and plotting behind the scenes to do such damage to the Faith — by slow erosion, a bit here and bit there — that most people will not notice. And they have been so successful that they have managed to bring all of this to a head at a synod.
Church Militant has prepared quite a few what we call Synod Profiles on many of these men that we will be airing for you throughout the duration of the Synod. They're thumbnails of the various leaders who are pushing hard for change, mostly behind the scenes, a few very open about it, but all of them sensing their moment.
As you know, we will be reporting to you from Rome for the whole month starting Monday. We'd like to take one more moment to say "thank you" to all the supporters who gave so generously so we could be there to report to you. We asked you to contribute $30,000 over 30 days to pay for expenses for the four man team. You donated $30,000 in 30 hours.
There is one difference between this synod and Vatican II, between this synod and Elizabethan England: It is the presence of faithful Catholic media able to bring you the information you need via the Internet. The secular media will be in Rome by the droves, anxious to report that the Church has changed. They will be spurred on by progressive prelates and their allies, anxious to fan the flames of dissent through the secular media and give the impression to the whole world that the old Church is dead and the new Church has finally accepted the evils of the modern world: baptized secularism and modernism.
No matter what you hear, no matter who tells you anything different, we all know that can never happen. The Catholic Church is the Bride of Christ. Over Her the gates of Hell cannot prevail.
Stay tuned to Church Militant and your other faithful Catholic media sources during October. Stay with the Church. No matter how tempted you may be to flee to something else, stay on the Barque of Peter. No matter how tempting groups in schism may be, no matter how dismal an outcome or process, remember the Church has weathered many storms — been battered severely, yes; suffered great trials, yes; been pushed to the breaking point by heretics, yes; torn asunder by schism, yes.
The Catholic response to all of this is what it has always been and always will be: to cling even more closely to Our Lord in His agony, as Our Blessed Mother did on Calvary; to pray; to do penance; and to have faith that there will come the Resurrection.
It was only those who stood at the foot of the Cross who had enough faith on Easter Sunday to recognize the reality of the Resurrection when it was first presented to them: Our Blessed Mother, Mary Magdalen, St. John when he stooped to look in the tomb. The others Our Lord rebuked: the Apostles in the upper room, the disciples on the road to Emmaus. These did not have sufficient faith to endure Our Lord's agony with Him on Calvary, and so they had difficulty in accepting the joy of the Resurrection.
Never leave the Church. It is precisely now, in this deep moment of trial, when you are most needed.