Reinventing the Wheel

If you had just started to calm down about the synod, perhaps you shouldn't read this post. A reader points out the following:
From today's  Vatican Information Service

<< Debate of the Synod Fathers following the post-discussion Report

Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) – During the eleventh General Congregation the “Relatio post disceptationem” was read by the General Rapporteur, Cardinal Peter Erdo.
Immediately after, there followed a period of free discussion among the Synod Fathers.  ( ie Pell: That Wally Kasper has got the brains of a sheep." )
In general, the “Relatio post disceptationem” was appreciated for its capacity to photograph well the interventions that have been offered during this last week, capturing the spirit of the Assembly and highlighting acceptance and welcome as the principle theme of the works. The document, it was said, reveals the Church’s love for the family faithful to Christ,
(note: "the family faithful to Christ")
but also her capacity to be close to humanity in every moment of life, to understand that, behind the pastoral challenges, there are many people who suffer. The Synod, it was emphasised, should have the watchful gaze of the shepherd who devotes his life to his sheep, without a priori judgement.
It is necessary to clarify and explore more deeply the theme of “gradualness”, that may give rise to confusion. With regard to access to the sacraments for divorced and remarried persons, for instance, it was said that it is difficult to accept exceptions unless in reality they become a common rule.
It was also noted that the word “sin” is almost absent from the Relatio. The prophetic tone of Jesus’ words was also mentioned, to avoid the risk of conformity to the mentality of today’s world.

In relation to homosexuals, moreover, the need for welcome was highlighted, but with the just produced, so that the impression of a positive evaluation of such a tendency on the part of the Church is not created. The same care was advised with regard to cohabitation. 
COMMENT: I would like to see the original Italian. The first sentence of the preceding paragraph  is not grammatically correct.
Other insights regarded the need to emphasise the importance of the sacrament of Baptism, essential for fully understanding the sacramental nature of marriage and also its character as a “ministry” in the announcement of the Gospel.
With regard to procedures for the streamlining of cases of nullity, some questions were raised regarding the proposal to entrust greater competence to the diocesan bishop, which may prove to be too great a burden, while the need for deeper and more detailed reflection was indicated in relation to cases of polygamy – especially for those who convert and wish to partake in the sacraments – and the spread of pornography, especially on the internet, which poses a real risk to family unity. Finally, in relation to openness to life on the part of couples, it is necessary to face in more detail and more decisively not only abortion, but also that of surrogacy.

You could not make this up.
"In order to streamline cases of nullity, you need to entrust greater competence to the bishop."
Pardon me? 
To STREAMLINE cases of nullity?
They must know NOTHING about nullity cases.
Can you imagine the Bishop of Rome having time to deal with all the Annulment Cases in the Diocese of Rome?
Any sensible bishop would delegate this work to a team of people to deal competently and sensitively with such matters.
Obviously they would need to hear both sides of the story in order to reach an objective decision.
They would need special training for such an important matter - and to take advice from experts.
Now what would you call such a group of people?
Marriage assessors?
Annulment specialists?
Annulment decision makers?
Annulment judges?
Annulment tribunal?
Wait a minute - why not put the emphasis on the positive and call it er..... 
A Marriage Tribunal?
From page 42 of the Brentwood Diocesan Directory 2014:
"Every member of Christ's Faithful is entitled to vindicate their rights before the appropriate forum. For most matters, including marriage nullity, the principle judge in each diocese is the Bishop. He exercises this role through his Judical Vicar and other judges. Cases are prepared by advocates and auditors. Where the public good is involved, this is represented by the Promotor of Justice and the Defender of the Bond."
I think this is called "reinventing the wheel".


  1. Indeed! Once again, it seems some of the Fathers do not realize that the Church has 2000 years of history, of experience, of wisdom. There is nothing new under the sun, just different names for the same things.



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