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Synod on Synodality members during the 2023 season, in the Paul VI Hall.Michael Haynes

This essay by Father Joachim Heimerl was originally written in German. It has been translated and published with the permission of Fr. Heimerl.

(LifeSiteNews) — Someone recently asked me: “Excuse me, Father, what is synodality?”

I admit: I was surprised. After all, we think that nowadays everything revolves around “synodality,” but in fact, the term doesn’t seem to have reached the faithful; it only exists in the bubble of church bureaucrats.

They do not realize that there are more important things than “synodality,” nor that the Church has functioned for 2,000 years without it. Instead, they claim that the Church is “synodal” by its nature; this is so historically and theologically incorrect that you just want to shake your head at it.

READ: Swiss Bishop Eleganti warns ‘Synodalism’ is undermining the true nature of the Church

But back to the question: “What actually is synodality?”

I would have liked to answer: “Synodality is just nonsense,” and, to be honest, it is; but there is nonsense that is dangerous, and that is the case with “synodality.” That is why “synodality” is not something that can be brushed aside but something that must be understood and, above all, fought against. It is not uncommon for the worst things to arise from nonsense, and even more so when they are labeled with stupid buzzwords. So, is synodality a “stupid” word?

Let me put it this way: it is only “stupid” insofar as it is a foolish neologism that can be filled [with meaning] at will. For this reason alone, it is a political rather than an ecclesiastical term, and this can also be seen from the fact that this term has never existed in ecclesiastical usage: “synodality” does not appear in a single council text; basically, it is pure fantasy, a platitude that can be used to play politics. There is nothing more to it.

The fact that “synodality” somehow sounds like “synod” is just a nice pretense; in this way, a historical continuum is suggested that does not exist at all: “synodality” has absolutely nothing to do with the great synods that existed from antiquity to the Middle Ages, nor, incidentally, with the “synods of bishops” established by Paul VI in 1965.  Since Francis imposed the topic of “synodality” on the current Synod of Bishops, “synodality” has instead become synonymous with “schism.” In short: with the current “Synod on Synodality,” the Church is at a crossroads.

This is, of course, also due to the fact that this “synod” is not a “synod of bishops” in the sense of Paul VI, but rather a brazen fraudulent labeling: in the “synod-synod,” bishops and laypeople consult and are specifically directed by a “synod secretariat.” Let’s put it this way: this “Synod of Bishops” is a masquerade of church politics that is at best comparable to a party congress in China.

Accordingly, the Pope’s mission is clear and unambiguous: the “synod” is intended to give him a tailwind for his “reforms”: the recognition of homosexuality and the diaconate of women are the minimum goals. In addition, the Church is to become a lay church in the medium-term, organized in a decentralized manner; in short, the “Una sancta” is to consist of Protestant regional churches in the future and be led by lay people.

READ: Cardinal Marx: ‘Global, synodal Church’ without ‘purely clerical rule’ is ‘in the making’

In order to achieve this, Francis has given the Synod of Synodality the aura of a Third Vatican Council – and the explosive power of a schism. After all, many Catholics are fed up with the Pope permanently ruling against the teachings of the Church and resorting to the trick of a “Super Synod” to do so.

The “Synod Secretariat” is therefore resolutely preventing critical voices by claiming in all seriousness that the leadership of the “World Synod” belongs to the Holy Spirit. Everyone knows that this is a bluff, and not even a council could claim the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, this move gives the synod a “doctrinal” authority; and no one dares to defy this official propaganda, which incidentally brings us back to the party congress in China.

Anyone wondering what “synodality” really means can see the crux of the matter here: “synodality” is the idea of manipulating the Church to turn it upside down; what was never Catholic is to become Catholic without further ado.

The “synodal way” in Germany has already demonstrated this, and the Super Synod is now simply imitating it. In the end, both paths lead to the same goal: the substantial restructuring of the Church, which could also be called its destruction.

This is why Francis is allowing the German bishops to get away with it so conspicuously while he otherwise rules with an iron hand. If the Germans push too far, at most a cardinal-prefect yelps, but nothing more happens. Despite open heresy, no bishop loses his office. Why should they? Basically, the Germans are just overzealous disciples of their Roman master. With the “synodal path,” they had a test run; now, the Pope can create the desired facts with the Super Synod. At the latest, since the controversial blessing document Fiducia Supplicans, we know where this leads: to the sell-out of Holy Scripture as well as the abandonment of Divine Revelation and Church Tradition.

Anyone who speaks of “synodality” today is, therefore, talking about a Church that has lost its supernatural faith and degraded itself to an NGO. This “Church,” which has already deservedly been dubbed the “Church of Francis,” is no longer Catholic and has no answer to the faithlessness of our time. On the contrary: it has itself become part of this faithlessness and will ultimately perish in it. For this reason, the true Church, which is Catholic and apostolic, is never one thing: it is never “synodal”!

Should you one day be asked what “synodality” means, perhaps the best response is: “Synodality is not Catholic.” You could hardly put it better.