RI bishop: Synod process is 'rather Protestant'

Bishop Thomas Tobin argued against what he called the pope’s suggestion that the Church “accommodate the needs of the age.” Pope Francis "is fond of 'creating a mess,’ he wrote. "Mission accomplished.”

Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island has called on Catholics to “relax” following the tumultuous synod on the family, but nonetheless expressed concern over how bishops, cardinals, and even the pope conducted themselves earlier this month.

“Have we learned that it’s probably not a good idea to publish half-baked minutes of candid discussions about sensitive topics, especially when we know that the secular media will hijack the preliminary discussions for their own agendas?” Tobin wrote on the Diocese of Providence website.

In a piece entitled “Random Thoughts About the Synod on the Family,” Tobin said that “it’s an enormous challenge to maintain pristine doctrinal purity while at the same time respond to the experiential, personal, and difficult needs of married couples and families.”

cruxnow.com/church/2014/10/21/ri-bishop-synod-process-is-rather-protestant/

That’s really kind of a silly thing to say. If that is true the Church was “rather Protestant” for a thousand years.

what do you mean by that?
Not only that, but aren’t all synods, councils, assemblies of the Church all guided by the Holy Spirit when invoked? How did this happen? I mean, I never heard of a robber council until about a week ago, but I’m going to take a wild guess that there were fewer than actual holy councils.

Very interesting

I agree with him in principle, I think he’s talking about the manner in which it was done, the approach to the problems basically. His candidness may be a bit strong.

Just like in the movie “We’re no angels” with Deniro and Sean Penn.

“What are we? Protestants?”

“Have we learned that it’s probably not a good idea to publish half-baked minutes of candid discussions about sensitive topics, especially when we know that the secular media will hijack the preliminary discussions for their own agendas?”

–Bishop Tobin

That’s quite a pertinent observation. I remember discussing something like this with an old retreat master once. He noted that certainly such discussions could be confusing; but in the past they were only conducted among the members attending in person or by writing back and forth to each other. The presence of a 24/7 secular media changes everything.

We should know by now that everything leaks, everything. I think Pope Francis was wise in keeping the process and the documents open to the light of day so that everything could be seen in its context - as opposed to endless “damage control” and explanation upon explanation for whatever half-baked leaks would have popped-up in the relentless 24x7 media.

I think the bishop was unwise in his statement. I wonder if he thought adoption of the vernacular was also “rather Protestant.” Really, using “Protestant” as a slur in this day and age?

Bishop Tobin has some questions and concerns I share.

— I wonder what the Second Vatican Council would have looked like and what it would have produced if the social media had existed at that time.

Yves Congar’s published diary ‘My journal of the Council’ probably gives an indication. Thankfully social media didn’t exist.

— Pope Francis encouraged fearless and candid discussion and transparency during the Synod. I wonder if the American Bishops will adopt the same protocol during their meeting next month in Baltimore.

Hopefully.

I also agree with Archbishop Kurtz about a loss of transparency and a “return to the practice of previous synods in publishing participants’ interventions, for the benefit of their discussions and the information of the outside world.”

— Pope Francis is fond of “creating a mess.”

The words offered at youth day in Rio that the Pope ‘wants trouble in the dioceses’ for youth to ‘create a mess’ so the Church can get ‘rid of the mundane’ and ‘clericalism’ and somehow become closer to the people makes one wonder the vision some hold of such outcomes?

When I first heard Cardinal Burke’s harsh vitriol regarding the synod I was struck by what I sensed to be the true subject of his diatribes: Pope Francis. He comes across as though he has some sort of personal enmity against the Holy Father. It is as if he somehow views Pope Francis’ papacy to be invalid.

Now, we hear Bishops Tobin and Chaput publicly expressing bitter outrage, and slinging poisonous arrows directly at Pope Francis. It seems like open defiance. Discretion appears to be nonexistent.

I now see the genuine need behind the Holy Father’s decision to move Cardinal Burke to a less visible position. His hand was forced! Cardinal Burke seems to be the leader of a movement that chooses to use the public square to openly denigrate the pope. And, in the bargain, the noble concept of obedience is being trampled. It is an outrageous situation.

I agree with you and wonder why the bishops are doing this so publicly. It seems like a better way to influence the process would be in discussions behind the scenes, not publicly denigrating the process and confusing their flock.

Personally, I think too many of the bishops in the US have become personally popular because of their opposition to President Obama, and it is affecting their ability to be religious leaders. I saw a newspaper article where Archbishop Dolan spoke to an audience and, during the introduction, the audience erupted when the speaker said that Archbishop Dolan was not afraid to take on President Obama. It told me that many were there not because of Dolan’s stature as a religious leader, but more they saw him as a political figure.

It almost seems like something similar is happening where bishops are creating personal appeal based on their opposition to this synod and that they will be heroes to a subset of Catholics instead of tending to an entire flock.

Unfair, unfounded and quite judgmental.

I now see the genuine need behind the Holy Father’s decision to move Cardinal Burke to a less visible position. His hand was forced! Cardinal Burke seems to be the leader of a movement that chooses to use the public square to openly denigrate the pope.

Assumes facts not in evidence! :mad:

And, in the bargain, the noble concept of obedience is being trampled. It is an outrageous situation.

Obviously you did not read what the good Cardinal actually said when notified. Sacrifice, humility and a desire to serve the Church wherever he was sent was quite transparent in the actual interview.

It was always in some kind of informal setting and not from the chair when St. Peter would say the wrong thing.

What vitriol did the cardinal show to the pope?:confused: The only things he ever said about the pope, and both were in direct response to questions–yeah, the pope should speak up, we are looking to him as our leader to set the record straight regarding the confusion caused by kaspper and others. The other, yeah the continued silence is indeed doing harm to the church.

if that’s vitriol then I need to get out more.:rolleyes: For some people, any criticism towards the pope is vitriol. it doesn’t matter how true, how measured, how respectful. As long as someone says there is something the pope isn’t doing right, that’s vitriol. ridiculous!:shrug:

Who is Cardinal Burke to demand anything of the pope? It is not his place to do so. He has his place in the hierarchy, and it is subordinate to the Holy Father. Period.

I can understand Tobin’s concerns. Without a strong leader who keeps the kids in line, you start getting in fighting. That is what seems to be happening. Those few trying to push for changes to doctrine seem to think they have free reign now to do just that.

I love Pope Francis, but he really does need to take up his whip and tip a few tables.

:thumbsup:

You mean like he did with Cardinal Burke?

Sorry but the catholic church is not the Mafioso. :o The bishops are brothers to the pope who is the head bishop. they are not his children. he is the leader but not the king. cardinal burke is a catholic and a brother bishop. if the pope is doing something wrong or dangerous, the cardinal has a right to tell him. he would not be the first in the history of the church to do so. the catholic faith and church are the common treasure of all catholics and bishops are common guardians of that treasury. some people here think the pope’s place in the church is Jesus’ place, completely beyond criticism. that is incorrect! Popes can and do make mistakes. we are not to disrespect them but neither are they beyond respectful critism or even fraternal correction. :shrug: The first one was rebuked to his face (st Peter) by another apostle (st paul) and two others have been anathematized by ecumenical councils for permitting heresy to spread in the church!:eek:

Which doctrine is Burke trying to change?

I was raised in a Baptist Church and they vote on everything. It leads to church splitting and literally, changes in doctrine. That may be what he meant.

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