The following comes from a November 20 A Shepherd’s Voice blog post:
The recent Synod on the Family included an event of supreme importance that has been noted by many—the emergence of the sub-Saharan African Church. There is a stark contrast between the incoherence of the infected bishops and the simple and assured clarity of the African bishops. A number of examples could be given, but one will suffice for this article: the masterful Intervention of Cardinal Robert Sarah.
First, Cardinal Sarah noted the infection had reached the highest levels of the Church. Excerpt:
“I say frankly that in the previous Synod, on various issues one sensed the temptation to yield to the mentality of the secularized world and individualistic West. Recognizing the so-called ‘realities of life’ as a locus theologicus means giving up hope in the transforming power of faith and the Gospel. The Gospel that once transformed cultures is now in danger of being transformed by them.”
His Eminence also insisted on a ‘Discernment of History and Spirits.’ He then discerned:
“A second hope: that the Synod honor its historic mission and not limit itself to speaking only about certain pastoral issues (such as the possible communion for divorced and remarried) but help the Holy Father to enunciate clearly truths and real guidance on a global level. For there are new challenges with respect to the synod celebrated in 1980. A theological discernment enables us to see in our time two unexpected threats (almost like two “apocalyptic beasts”) located on opposite poles: on the one hand, the idolatry of Western freedom; on the other, Islamic fundamentalism: atheistic secularism versus religious fanaticism. To use a slogan, we find ourselves between “gender ideology and ISIS”.
Several clues enable us to intuit the same demonic origin of these two movements. Unlike the Spirit of Truth that promotes communion in the distinction (perichoresis), these encourage confusion (homo-gamy) or subordination (poly-gamy). Furthermore, they demand a universal and totalitarian rule, are violently intolerant, destroyers of families, society and the Church, and are openly Christianophobic.”
The First Council of Nicaea, in 325 AD, was another Church event of supreme importance. Yet who, outside of a church historian, can even recall the name of the Pope at the time of the Nicaea? The pivotal figure at Nicaea was not the then-Pope, but Bishop Athanasius. And any Catholic with even a slight knowledge of the faith, not to mention people outside the faith, knows of Athanasius. His Holiness Pope Francis called the Synod on the Family. But a thousand years from now it may well be remembered as Cardinal Sarah’s Synod.