Synod on Synodality: New Springtime or Pandora’s Box?

A talk given to the Latin Mass Society of Arlington on Nov. 8 offers a look at the Oct. 4-29 general assembly of the Synod of Bishops, what it signifies and where the process might go from here.

The Paul VI Audience Hall, site of the 2023 Synod on Synodality, is seen from the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica
The Paul VI Audience Hall, site of the 2023 Synod on Synodality, is seen from the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica (photo: nomadFra / Shutterstock)

The first of two general assemblies of the Synod on Synodality that was completed last month was, as expected, fraught with plenty of acrimony and contention.

Eagerly awaited by some, thoroughly dreaded by others, the 16th General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the theme “For a Synodal Church: Communion Participation, Mission” was, for its supporters, a means to renew the Church, welcome those who feel marginalized by her teaching, and “bring communion with Christ to a broken humanity so desperately seeking it.”

But to its detractors, it was nothing short of the latest stage of a revolution that “takes up old heresies” in a bid not only to introduce heterodoxy into the Church but, in the words of Cardinal Raymond Burke, “to change radically the Church’s self-understanding, in accord with a contemporary ideology which denies much of what the Church has always taught and practiced.”

In a Nov. 8 talk I gave to the Latin Mass Society in Arlington, Virginia, I took a closer look at the gathering — the persistent questions over its legitimacy, why the process is so significant, how the assembly was managed (or rigged to achieve a certain end), and to what extent the assembly might aid evangelization or end up subverting the Church’s apostolic tradition.

The full text of my talk can be read on my website, watched on the ALMS YouTube channel or viewed below:

Cardinal-elect Víctor Manuel Fernández was appointed by Pope Francis on July 1, 2023, to become the next prefect for the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith.

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