Action Alert!

At Synod's opening session, evidence of a different dynamic

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Oct 05, 2015

As “relator general” for the Synod of Bishops, Cardinal Peter Erdo is responsible for summarizing the main lines of the discussion. But last year, he played only a minor role when the staff produced a controversial “interim report,” and even tacitly acknowledged that he did not understand why a controversial passage on homosexuality appeared in the document. In a word, he seemed to have been caught unawares by the machinations of a handful of liberal prelates.

This year, things will be different. Neither Cardinal Erdo nor any other prelate will be surprised by efforts to manipulate the Synod. The attempts to ensure a certain outcome—the adoption of the Kasper proposal, a favorable treatment of homosexuality, etc.—have been blatant. Last October, the bishops who resist change in Church teaching were surprised and upset by the shenanigans. This year, they may still be upset, but they're no longer surprised. They've come prepared.

By staking out his ground in opposition to the Kasper proposal and to a gay-friendly message, Cardinal Erdo signaled that he won’t stand by quietly. And since his job is to summarize what other prelates are saying, his strong stand indicates that he knows many other Synod participants share his views.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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