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Pledge your prayers and fasting for protection of the Church during the Synod on Synodality HERE

(LifeSiteNews) — In a scathing post on his personal blog, Paarse Pepers, Bishop Rob Mutsaerts, auxiliary bishop of Den Bosch in the Netherlands asks hard questions about the “Synod on Synodality” which Pope Francis has chosen to convene and whose first episode will draw to a close this week. His main concern is the total lack of clarity coming from the Pope, because while people in and around the Synod are insisting that it is not about changing the teachings of the Church, but about answering the question: what is synodality, what is actually happening is most certainly “about theology and doctrine,” he writes. 

This becomes clear from Mutsaerts’ quotes of people who have been expressly invited by the Pope to speak at the Synod, and also from the list of people Pope Francis has gone out of his way to listen to and who are well-known for opposing the Church’s teaching on moral issues. 

“Inclusion and diversity” are not up Mutsaerts’ street: in a few well-aimed remarks he recalls that Our Lord himself expressly excludes a number of people from the “Kingdom of Heaven” with the best kind of pointed “biblical invective.” 

Mustaerts himself does not shy away from clarity. All are “welcome” in the Church, he agrees, because the Church is open to all those who are prepared to convert, repent, and “appeal to God’s mercy” which calls on them to “sin no more.”  

“The only people who should stay at home are those who feel that there is nothing wrong with them and that they have no need of conversion,” the bishop writes. 

He himself is prepared to bless anyone who asks for a blessing, no questions asked; “But if people ask me to bless a relationship that the Church considers sinful I will obviously not give it them,” Mutsaerts writes. And if anyone feels “excluded” on that point, “so be it.” 

His forceful message deserves a read. Here is its full translation by LifeSiteNews:

What does the Pope really want? 

What is the synod currently underway in Rome actually about? Over and again, official Vatican sources are telling us many things. That it is not about theology, nor about doctrinal matters, nor about LGBTQ+, the ordination of women and the issue of celibacy. Neither is it, they add, about seeking to undermine or replace the hierarchical nature of the church or democratize the decision-making process. No, it would seem to be dealing with the question of what synodality is. After all, this is a synod on synodality. Nobody seems to know what that is, and so the Pope has figured that we had better organize a synod on that. Then, maybe, we could find out. How? By listening. But if so, there is no escaping the fact that there must also be talk. By whom? By people who have been invited by the Pope. 

Thus did Pope Francis invite a theologian who unabashedly proclaimed, “If we reach the consensus that the Church is essentially synodal, we will have to rethink the whole Church, all the institutions, the whole life of the Church in a synodal sense.” One of the bishops present openly confirmed that it will be necessary to depart from the apostolic tradition. Since then, a wealth of speakers has been preaching revolution. That this is not about theology or doctrine is impossible to keep up any longer. It is primarily about them. And this is what we shall see. In a few days the final report will be published (it has probably been finalized for quite some time) and the people of God will also be treated to a letter. That the Holy Spirit has nothing to do with it has become obvious by now. 

Whatever synodality may mean, synods exist, at any rate, in order to discover how we must set to work in the present age to encourage that people be brought to Christ. Trouble is, however, that Jesus and the salvation of souls (which is ultimately what faith is all about, after all) have hardly come up in all the listening sessions, schemas and testimonies. There are no references at all to Church Fathers, saints and theologians, and again, very few to the Bible and Tradition; the Pope mostly cites himself and there is no question of any philosophical thinking at all. Most of the talk is dominated by feelings. This has not produced clear ideas by any means, even though the purpose of a synod is to provide clarity. If there is one thing that Francis does not do, it is that. This has been demonstrated once again by the answers to the Dubia questions. Without clear ideas, we continue to grope in the dark for shadows in the night and we are left with nothing but fabrications of the mind that are closer or further from the truth. But truth itself is not being sought. Surely, though, is it not the truth that sets us free? What on earth is the point of emphasizing the pastoral aspect if it is not clear that it is rooted in the truth? Words like “irregular,” “sodomy” and “feeling conscious of sin” are being studiously avoided. That might make someone feel upset, or worse, excluded. 

So isn’t everyone welcome in the Church? Certainly, yes. The only people who should stay at home are those who feel that there is nothing wrong with them and that they have no need of conversion. Apart from them, everyone is welcome. But there is one condition: that they come to repentance and appeal to God’s mercy. That is the whole point of religion, after all. It’s about recognizing that there is a standard – call it the truth – that has been revealed to us, and that you are not up to that standard. That is why you go to Church. To ask forgiveness, and to be strengthened by God’s grace, by using the means of grace: the sacraments, God’s Word, support from the faith community, so that you work more and more toward the sanctification of your life. 

Now that is the whole point: people are demanding that the Church approve lifestyles that the Bible disapproves of. People want the Church to adjust the standards! But it can’t. Jesus said to the adulteress, “Go forth and sin no more.” The LGBT community insists that the Church now say: “Go forth and don’t worry, just stick to your lifestyle.” But cheap mercy is not to be obtained from Jesus. Certainly, He is merciful, but only on the condition of conversion. If someone asks for my blessing, I will give it. I will not ask that person for a resume beforehand. But if people ask me to bless a relationship that the Church (based on the word of Jesus Himself) considers sinful I will obviously not give it them. Don’t ask the Church to change what Jesus has clearly spoken about. If that makes people feel excluded, so be it. Jesus Himself excluded a lot of people. Of various categories of people He made it clear that they would not inherit the Kingdom of God. And to make that even more clear, He called them “hypocrites,” “brood of vipers,” “whitewashed tombs,” and more of these kinds of original biblical invective. Synod participants who believe that hospitality, inclusion and diversity are the primary attributes of the Church should reread the Bible on those counts. I especially recommend the letters of Paul. 

Everyone is a sinner. And while we must love our neighbor, we must also be able to call certain acts sins. Vague, unclear answers will not draw anyone to the Church of Christ. Adapting to secular norms even keeps people away from Christ: it makes them feel confirmed in their unchurchly views. It is also unloving. The Church did not receive from Jesus as a first assignment the order to listen, but to be missionary: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” 

So what does the pope actually want? Why does he invite James Martin? Why so many pals in his image and likeness? Why does he choose Cardinal Hollerich as relator for the synod (Hollerich has once again reasserted that a number of the Church’s positions are scientifically and sociologically ill-founded. No, dear Cardinal, these positions are biblically founded)? Why did he make ample time last week, amidst all the synodal bustle, to meet with Sister Jeannine Gramick who believes the Church’s teaching on ethical issues (of course, it again involves LGTBQ+) needs to be changed? Her organization has been condemned in the past. Why is he clearing space in his schedule during these busy weeks to receive Whoopi Goldberg with every honor? Following her visit, she declared that it was a fantastic one because of the pope’s acceptance of gay relationships and his openness to ordaining women. Was what she said accurate? The Vatican in no way refuted it. By the time she was twenty-five, Goldberg had already aborted seven children and she is still a strong supporter of abortion. Is that what synodality is: listening to anyone and everyone who has anything at all to say? Is that why the pope is listening to precisely these people? Without a single rebuttal… Or does he slowly but surely want to make the synod members ripe for these other sounds because he actually endorses the ideas they express? If not, why is he creating so much confusion by not answering a single question in a clear way? 

Whatever the case, division within the synod has only increased during the synod. That this is not a fruit of the Holy Spirit should be obvious. That this synod on synodality is a disaster should also be clear by now. The same goes for the one who thought it up. 

+Rob Mutsaerts 

Pledge your prayers and fasting for protection of the Church during the Synod on Synodality HERE