We have read at Rorate Caeli—and elsewhere, we think—that the next Synod of Bishops is to take up the question of married Latin-rite clergy. (Among other questions.) Rorate tells us that Sandro Magister reports that a dearth of priests in some parts of South America, and Germany’s age-old obsession with innovation in the direction of, say, the liberal Lutherans, will be the thin end (thin ends?) of the wedge this time. But of course.
And Fr. John Hunwicke tells us what’s really at issue here:
Be in no doubt: the call for Married Priests is but a surrogate and a tactical preliminary for the real battle: the struggle for the admission of women to Holy Order.
Women Priests; and Abortion; and Dissolution of the bonds between Sexuality, Matrimony and Fertility; are the unholy and inglorious Triad with which the Enemy at this particular historical moment plots the de radicibus destruction of the whole state of Christ’s Church militant here in Earth. People who can’t see that are a major part of the problem.
Believe me, I know. I’ve spent most of my life as an Anglican; and we refugees from Old Mother Damnable know exactly how these things are managed. The tools include Gradualism (give people time to get used to the idea: if you spring things on them too abruptly they might discover that they have principles). And Dialogue (“We just want our voices, our experiences to be heard; why can’t we all just talk?”).
At the heart of it is getting the whole jigsaw complete except for just that one last piece … which now so easily and so naturally slips into its allotted slot.
(Emphasis and colors in original.) The problem, of course, with this plan is Ordinatio sacerdotalis, which has generally been seen as an infallible pronouncement. But have no fear: the infallibility of Ordinatio sacerdotalis, as Cardinal Ratzinger pointed out in his doctrinal commentary on the Profession of Faith required by Ad tuendam Fidem, stems from the fact that the limitation of ordination to men has been set forth infallibly by the Church’s ordinary and universal Magisterium, not an exercise of the pope’s extraordinary Magisterium (as governed by Pastor aeternus). Ah, they’ll say, John Paul never proclaimed it as a dogma! Even Ratzinger said so! It’s up for debate!
This, of course, is in keeping with what Raymond Cardinal Burke has identified, correctly, as part of the obliteration of John Paul’s pontificate. Remember that the tendentious misquotation (or partial quotation) of John Paul’s Familiaris consortio is one of the key pillars of the Kasperites’ argument. In a recent interview with The Wanderer, Cardinal Burke observed:
I was truly disheartened that the final report stopped short of presenting the full teaching of Familiaris Consortio in the matter. First of all, the truth as presented by St. John Paul II in Familiaris Consortio was misrepresented in the Synod’s document as was the truth as illustrated and underlined in the Pontifical Council’s document. That in itself discouraged me very much, especially in consideration of the fact that it was done at the level of a Synod of Bishops.
At the same time, I was also disturbed because I knew this would be used by individuals like Fr. Spadaro and others to say that the Church has changed her teaching in this regard, which, in fact, is simply not true.
I really believe that the whole teaching in Familiaris Consortio should have been addressed through the final document of the Synod. During my experience of the 2014 Extraordinary Synod of Bishops, it was as if Pope John Paul II never existed. If one studies the Synod’s final document, the richness of the magisterial teaching of Familiaris Consortio, which is such a beautiful document, is not there.
(Emphasis and some formatting supplied.) And, really, that seems to be what the last few years have been—a forgetting, one way or another, of John Paul’s pontificate.
Obviously, John Paul’s teachings are hugely inconvenient to the progressives—especially his teachings about birth control, priestly ordination, and divorce and remarriage, to say nothing of his Rotal jurisprudence (which most progressives probably don’t know too well)—but orthodoxy usually is. The desire to obliterate John Paul’s memory, while raising him to the altars and recalling the extraordinary scenes that accompanied him wherever he went, seems to go beyond that, however.
What was it about John Paul, then, that provokes such a desire to forget him?