Tuesday, October 6, 2015

World Synod on the Family 2015: The Magisterium Strikes Back

Pope Francis speaks with Cdl. Angelo Sodano.
(Source: catholicphilly.com.)
The 2015 World Synod on the Family has just opened, and already the conservatives are thumping the progressives 3 – 0.

The first point scored against the progressives was actually an own-goal (or safety, if you prefer American football metaphors). On Friday, Oct. 3, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith fired Msgr. Krzystof Charamsa (aka "Sideshow Chris"), who worked as an assistant secretary for the International Theological Commission, after an interview was released in Corriere della Sera revealing that the prelate is not only gay but in a relationship; he was dismissed because, Fr. Federico Lombardi said, his statement "aims to subject the Synod assembly to undue media pressure."

Why is this an own-goal? Because Sideshow Chris was fired just as a conference of LGBT Catholics was getting ready to convene in Rome to lobby the synod bishops. Before their own opening gavel could drop, they'd already gotten a message from the Vatican: "Sorry, the cafeteria's closed." Moreover, the revelation followed another conference in which celibate gay Catholics came out in support of the Church's sexual teachings. Finally, it was revealed that Sideshow Chris had double-placed "exclusive interviews" with two competing Polish weeklies, Wprost and Newsweek Polska; according to editor Bogusław Chrabota of Rzeczpospolita, "the main intention of Saturday's spectacle was the promotion of a forthcoming book by the priest." Journalists can forgive murder, terrorism, and pedophilia much easier than they can forgive a source who plays them ... at least without their consent.

Notes Artur Rosman (stealing a line from John Médaille), "Charamsa used God, gay rights, and the Polish press to organize a big paycheck for himself. This is how you should stage-manage your 'martyrdom.'" It's not hard to conclude that Sideshow Chris wasted his "fifteen minutes"; if it's not the dumbest activism fail of the year, so far it's certainly the one with the most widespread coverage.