Cardinal Pell’s Toxic Nightmare – Crisis Magazine

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Before his death, Cardinal Pell recognized the fatal flaw in the Synod on Synodality’s inclusion paradigm: it will result in a jettisoning of every doctrine and tradition.

Among the gifts left to the Church by the late George Cardinal Pell is a critique of the Synod on Synodality, published posthumously in the Spectator. He says what many, in fact most churchgoing Catholics think: this Synod doesn’t speak for us. The Synodal findings so far are summed up in a 56-page document titled “Working Document for the Continental Stage.” Flip through a few pages and you can see why Cardinal Pell called the whole process a “toxic nightmare.”

The central metaphor of the Working Document is the big tent. It’s taken from Isaiah 54:2: “Enlarge the space of your tent.” Lest you forget the metaphor, a picture of a big tent is drawn on virtually every page in what appears to be crayon. The idea is that a big tent Church has three features: it has plenty of room for lots of new people, it has some sort of structure, and it can move around as needed (§ 27). But structure and mobility won’t matter if our tent is empty, so how are we going to fill all that extra space? It turns out that, as we hear so often these days, diversity is going to be our strength. “Enlarging the tent requires welcoming others into it, making room for their diversity” (§ 28). 

What sort of diversity are we talking about here? Well, it’s not the Maronites or the Chaldeans. They are already included. Cardinal Pell recognized that this is a call to fill the Church with people who are not really Catholics. “With no sense of irony, the document is entitled ‘Enlarge the Space of Your Tent,’ and the aim of doing so is to accommodate, not the newly baptised—those who have answered the call to repent and believe—but anyone who might be interested enough to listen. Participants are urged to be welcoming and radically inclusive: ‘No one is excluded.’”


Cardinal Pell’s Toxic Nightmare – Crisis Magazine

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