(LifeSiteNews) — Pandora’s box, the expression used in this essay’s title, is in common use; it refers to the potential danger of an issue that, apparently positive in appearance, can however give rise to negative situations and enormous misfortunes.
A key point is the poor handling of the thing; this is the intrinsic danger it entails. What is not well known is the Greek myth in which the box that contains calamities appears. This was an oval jar inside which contained all the evils that humanity could suffer: illness, crime, madness, vice, passion, sadness, fatigue, old age. The last thing left in the box was hope, which was considered an evil in Greek mythology.
Who was Pandora? The first woman created by Hephaestus according to the order of Zeus. The name is highly auspicious, it means the totality of gifts. It is said that Aphrodite communicated her beauty to him, and Hermes his cunning. Pandora’s creation occurs after the titan Prometheus had stolen fire from the gods to give it to men. The myth continues: Zeus gave the box to Pandora to take revenge on Prometheus. Pandora was a charming maiden, but Zeus planted inconstancy of character and lies in her spirit.
What is this story about? The illustrious Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, a witness to Catholic Tradition, compared the synod that has been taking place in previous instances and that is finally being held in Rome to Pandora’s box. In the inaugural speech, on October 4, the Pope expressed his hope: “That, once the necessary repairs have been made, the Church once again becomes a place of welcome for everyone, everyone, everyone.” This is the box of Pandora. Isn’t the Church already the place accessible to everyone? Who is missing?
Francis continued: “Furthermore, what must be repaired is the most common disease, ‘gossip’” Laughable! What must be repaired is relativism, and the forgetting or denial of Christ’s command to the apostles: That all nations (everyone, everyone, everyone) become His disciples.
On the same day as the inauguration of the synod, the successor of Peter released his apostolic exhortation Laudate Deum, a continuation of Laudato si’: the world’s pressing problem is “climate change,” not the absence of God, and the contempt for truth. The Pope opens this Pandora’s box to the Church.
The synodal institution is very ancient; there were synods historically, at different levels and with different results, although in modern times, due to the marked primacy of the papal monarchy, they became less general, and were reduced to some areas and dioceses. At this point the relationship between synod and council can be noted.
The fundamental features of the myth illustrate very well what can be expected – or better, feared – from the aforementioned synod. The pontifical obsessions, if we discount the climatological issues, and other variants of the same theme, which are widely exposed in the new exhortation (the second part of Laudato si’) embrace the inclinations of the German Synodal Way: the Eucharistic communion of the divorced, and the inclusion of homosexuals in the Church. On these two topics the references are Amoris laetitia, and informal, dispersed statements, respectively. It is always about the progressivism that has settled in Rome, and that appears in the criticisms involved in the now famous Dubia of the four Cardinals.
On September 19, 2016, several months after the publication of Amoris laetitia, Cardinals Raymond Burke, Carlo Caffarra, Walter Brandmüller, and Joachim Meisner, presented a question about the proposed interpretations of the apostolic exhortation, not only as divergent, but also opposed by theologians and scholars, especially with regard to Chapter VIII. Furthermore, the media has emphasized this diatribe, thus causing uncertainty, confusion, and bewilderment among many faithful. “For this reason, the undersigned, but also many bishops and priests, have received numerous requests from faithful of various social classes regarding the correct interpretation that should be given to Chapter VIII of the Exhortation.”
The request was addressed to the Holy Father, as supreme master of the Faith, asking him to resolve the uncertainties and “giving a benevolent response to the Dubia that we allow ourselves to attach to this letter.” The answer was silence. Seven months after that request, on April 25, 2017, Cardinal Caffarra, on behalf of the other three prelates, appealed to the Pontiff requesting an audience. I also highlight the rationale that supported the request:
We are only moved by the awareness of the serious responsibility that derives from the munus cardinalis, being advisors to the Successor of Peter in his sovereign ministry. And of the sacrament of the episcopate that has placed us as bishops, to shepherd the Church which Christ has purchased with his blood (Acts 20, 28)
The response, which was silence, makes the sought-after ambiguity of Amoris laetitia weigh on the Church. It is the Jesuit method imposed by Francis to insinuate change contrary to Tradition, so that others promote it; then Rome will remain silent, allowing the Church to fall into oblivion and contempt for the truth. Now, Pandora’s box is the Synod on Synodality.
Synod of Synodality! A real tautology, which opens the way to countless errors and misfortunes. The other issue, along with the Communion of the divorced, is a greater openness of the Church to homosexuality. What does this mean? The Catechism of the Catholic Church correctly addressed that issue. The issue is not homosexual inclination, whose origin has not yet been scientifically elucidated; it is the practice of homosexuality, which according to Catholic Truth is a sin, For this reason, the Catechism exhorts the exercise of chastity.
Here lies the real problem. The synod, and the Pope with it, should close Pandora’s box, and present to the faithful and to the world, represented in the media, the authentic “Way,” the true goal. Sin exists, and homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered. Surely the synod will address the issues dear to the papal monarchy, but if God does not remedy it – and He does not have to do so – the abyss of ambiguity, confusion, and error opens with the box. The play of secondary causes, which enter into the order of Providence, which can allow evil, is very important.
Without any exaggeration, one can think that the future of the Church will largely result from synodal decisions. What can we do? Invoke the Mother of Christ, and of the Church itself, entrust ourselves to her, place our uncertain future in her hands, and beg her not to abandon her children, the children, the poor; that in her mysterious suppliant omnipotence she obtains the conversion of Rome.
+ Héctor Aguer
Archbishop Emeritus of La Plata.
Buenos Aires, Thursday, October 5, 2023