As Catholic General Assembly Of Bishops Adjourns, Questions Over Female Priests And Marriage Remain | Eastern North Carolina Now

    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is Bree Dail.

    VATICAN CITY     The 2023 session of the Synod on Synodality, a general assembly of Bishops, has come to a close, and with it highly anticipated answers to lingering questions as to whether the Catholic Church will ordain women and bless homosexual unions.

    In the 42-page summary document, presented to Pope Francis and published in Italian late Saturday evening, the participants - many of whom were personally chosen by the Roman Pontiff - reiterated the Catholic Church's "closeness," love, and compassion for individuals who endure "loneliness" as a result of abiding by Church teaching, to include sexual ethics.

    Found nowhere in the document, however, was the acronym "LGBTQ+," let alone the proposal towards "blessings" of such individuals or their unions - despite rumors published by several activists.

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    The document also focused on the vital role women play within the Church, but failed to obtain enough votes to support a proposal of ordination of women to the diaconate. The question was tabled, however, for "further discussion" during the second session of the Synod in 2024, even though the Pope has reiterated once again no such "reform" would or could be made under his pontificate. Such continued discussions suggest that future reform has not yet been fully rejected.

    To note, the absence of the German-speaking working group throughout this session seemed to suggest a possible Papal response to the results of a March vote and schism within the country. Thirty-eight of a total of 58 German Bishops voted to approve "blessing" irregular unions, including homosexual - seeming to directly oppose stern warnings from Pope Francis the summer prior, in 2022.

    "Germany does not have the power to compel the bishops and the faithful to adopt new ways of governance and new approaches to doctrine and morals," the statement read. "Prior to an agreed understanding at the level of the universal Church, it would not be permissible to initiate new official structures or doctrines in the dioceses, which would represent a wound to ecclesial communion and a threat to the unity of the Church."

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    Nevertheless, after the spring vote was conducted in Germany, reports of rebellion against the Vatican's directives quickly surfaced, with reports of priests conducting "blessing ceremonies" for same-sex couples, adding fuel to ideological provocateurs.

    Reactions to the details within the document were as swift as they were varied - from relief that the rumors were abated to disappointment in the lack of "progressive" results. Participants also expressed frustration and dismay over rising costs during a time of "financial crisis" in the Vatican.

    Elizabeth Lev, an author and Vatican historian based in Rome, commented: "My first thought regarding the document and its proceedings, is how odd it is that a Church document be discussed by what it doesn't contain vs that which it oes....suggest(ing) a partisan nature to the whole business."

    Lev responded to The Daily Wire, through email. She continued by pointing out that the summary document seems to have methodically buried the essential role of the Church. "Where is the uniqueness of Christianity? That singular message of the Good News that transformed the world 2,000 years ago?" She asked. "There is much talk of adapting the message, finding more inclusive language, and making it understandable (or palatable) for the people of today, but over the centuries illiterate people were able to understand what God wants from us, the message was brought to the farthest reaches of the planet without a worldwide web and was so convincingly understood that people were ready and willing to die for it. The church used beauty, it used hope, it used a guiding light in darkness in its art and architecture to match its message. What makes Catholic Christianity special today?"

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    When asked by The Daily Wire if she, as a historian, recognized historical similarities to those controversies leading up to this Synod, Lev replied, "In so far as the history of the Church, there was a lot of controversy in how to address the contemporary problems in the age of Luther - should priests marry? Should the church relax marriage doctrine? etc. - so yes we have seen this before."

    Lev concluded, "The waters have been choppy before for the barque of Peter, but it always seems to right itself. As Cardinal Ercole Consalvi allegedly noted (responding to Napoleon Bonaparte's threat that he had the power to destroy the Catholic Church), the Catholic clergy have been trying to destroy the church from within for 1,800 years but have never been able to succeed."
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