032 The Synod’s Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My! Mercy is possible everywhere.

lions and tigers and bears oh my

  • Oooo…. Gay propaganda passed out at the Synod!
  • Oooo…. Gay people appearing in the Press Hall!
  • Oooo…. and Oooo…. and Oooo…. and Oooo….!

If I were a Synod Father (surely the dumbest thing I’ve said on this blog), I would want to listen to all the rubbish I could, getting the best of the worst, so to speak, the most highly refined garbage arguments, the best attempts at rejecting Scripture and Tradition and the Magisterial interventions of the Church, the results of the most “scientific” sociological, psychological, psychiatric, blah blah blah statistical forays into whatever rationalizations there are, the more demonically clever the better. I’ve spent most of my academic life doing this. It’s all rather instructive, even if by via negativa. And, once in a while, some good things are said, such as with the protests against same-sex marriage in France, when even homosexuals were protesting, insisting as loudly as everyone that children need both a father and mother.

Bring on all the darkest of existential peripheries! I’m not afraid! I’m not going to hide away! Show your worst and I’ll show the best every time, the love and truth and goodness and kindness of Jesus, gaining in this way a zillion-fold brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers and houses and lands and persecutions in this life, and then in the next, life eternal. But let’s bring this a step further…

  • Oooo…. There are manipulators at the Synod!
  • Oooo…. There are anti-Catholic conspirators at the Synod!
  • Oooo…. There are cover-ups going on at the Synod!
  • Oooo…. And dare I say it? There’s a Santa Marta Shadow Synod!

And on and on. Great, say I. Now you know from the horses’ mouths who’s who. It’s not about investigations, intrigue, three secret volumes, ad infinitum. Hard to make that fly. Just let them all say it themselves, officially, as part of the Synod, with a super spotlight on it all for the Holy Father to see (and that’s what matters).

Now you know the darkest of existential peripheries, and they are right in the Church. Deal with them and then go ad extra, into the world, bringing the world the actual good news of the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception, unto rejoicing in salvation.

A blast from the past: I Kings 18:19 — “Now summon all Israel to me on Mount Carmel, as well as the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah who eat at Jezebel’s table.” If you don’t know what happened then, go and read it!

Let’s just go ahead and show the world the disarray our own house is in, and show the world that we’re taking care of this (my hope for Pope Francis’ follow-up after the Synod closes), and that we are now set to bring a message of hope to the world. Imagine the fury, the martyrdom to follow. Are you ready? Go to Confession! Know the mercy of Jesus!

Yes, I know, I’ll be condemned as being ultra-super-naïve and a possible infiltrator (“Oooo…!) for saying such things. It makes me think there are not many who are as clever as serpents, a talent which is also needed according to our Lord Jesus. If I’m proved wrong, I still won’t regret having clung to some possible hope in these days. Hopelessness brings only bitter hatred. Sure, our only hope is in Jesus, but, hey, it’s also good to look at things with an eye of light.

flying monkeys wizard of ozIs this all the absolute best way to go about things? I never thought so. That’s all I heard in the seminary, that we need heretics to make things better, you know, the ol’ dialectic thing. My answer was always, and still is, that the inspired Word of God is not idiocy, that Sacred Tradition, God-given faith, in which we supernaturally cleave to God, is not passé, that the interventions of the Church in the ordinary Magisterium of the Church are not constantly superseded by mere daily unrepeatable circumstances in which mercy is to be put into practice. My response was always, and still is, that faithfulness is already, in se, perspicacious, and has no need of heretics to provide that which is so very beautiful that even the most selfish will feel invited to love it all. Faith is not blind to one’s own lack, that we’re all crucified the Son of the Living God with our sin, original and otherwise.

But having said that, I do think that there is something to letting people speak there piece exhaustively, and officially, not just as this or that Arch(bishop), but as a Synod Father. This opens them up to listening, during which exercise they can be deeply wounded by the double-edged sword of truth that is the Holy Spirit, a very good thing.

Heretics have a life-long investment in heresy on so many different levels and for so many complex reasons, not the least of which is bad formation and evil colleagues, feeding off each others’ rationalizations, each others’ political correctness and self-referential self-congratulations and, most importantly for them, each others’ feelings and emotions. That’s the lowest common denominator. How to deal with that? I love how Elijah, John the Baptist, and Jesus used well the method of confrontation. Does it always have to be that way? Maybe not. Jesus did let the heretic Samaritan woman speak her piece exhaustively. And then brought her to belief.

Pope Francis has the most informed view. We need to respect his judgment on this, and pray for a great follow-up on his part. Jesus does listen to our weak prayers. I have a special prayer for the Synod, which I’ll share in a future post. Stay tuned. It’s all about mercy for the year of mercy.


– Father George David Byers


Filed under IL 130

2 responses to “032 The Synod’s Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My! Mercy is possible everywhere.

  1. Evangeline10

    Thank you for trying, Father Byers. I feel extraordinarily discouraged about where we are, and I do not share your confidence in Pope Francis, I wish I did, but I thank you sincerely for your effort here. :)

  2. Father George David Byers

    @ Evangeline10 — Here’s the deal. I have no confidence in anyone but Jesus and the saints. But I do think we should see the best possible in everyone. I do we must support the Supreme Pontiff where possible, support him in prayer and getting others to pray. Take teachable moments to explain the faith and what the limits of the infallibility are. Unity in the Church is important. Not scandalizing others — which is all too easy — is important.

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