Bishops Join Forces to Defend Church Doctrine on Marriage

Roman Catholic bishops voted against liberal reforms in the Church’s approach to homosexuals and divorcees after a special synod on the family, in an apparent blow to the reformist agenda of Pope Francis. The final vote closed a synod of bishops from around the world, which has seen bishops and cardinals clash publicly with liberal counterparts over a drive to radically reshape the Church’s approach to irregular unions.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said participants had approved a “re-balanced” final report that took into account the concerns of a majority of bishops. In a final vote after two weeks of fierce debate, three paragraphs touching on the hot-button issues of a change in approach towards gays, and allowing divorced and remarried Catholics to receive communion, did not get the two-thirds majority needed.

The Controversial Mid-Term Report

The controversial paragraphs first appeared in the mid-term report published on October 13.  The said report sparked a fierce backlash from bishops and cardinals, who complained that it misrepresented the discussions on the synod, and erroneously attributed to the synod body a position that goes against centuries of Church teaching.

The controversial paragraphs in the mid-term report include citing “positive aspects” in sinful situations:  that “homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community”, and that “with regard to cohabitation, civil marriages and divorced and remarried persons, it is the task of the Church to recognise those seeds of the Word that have spread beyond its visible and sacramental boundaries…”

The report was roundly criticised by numerous prominent Cardinals, including Gerhard Muller, Prefect of the Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Raymund Burke, head of the Apostolic Signatura, the President of the Polish Bishops Conference, and many others.  The cardinals complained that the text, instead of encouraging people to holiness and repentance, seemed to encourage continued living in a state of sin by acknowledging “positive aspects” of sinful situations.

A further complaint of the synod fathers with the mid-term report was the fact that it was published by the synod organizers without even consulting the bishops themselves.  In fact, the press got hold of the mid-term report even before the bishops had even read it – even though the report was made to be appear as if it was representative of the thoughts of the entire body, which was clearly not the case.  After much backlash, organizers attributed the fiasco to Archbishop Bruno Forte, Synod special secretary personally appointed by Francis, who was apparently the sole author of the said controversial paragraphs without any consultation from the synod body.

Prominent cardinals, such as Cardinal George Pell, Prefect of the Vatican Secretariat of the Economy, publicly criticised Synod organizers, particularly Cardinal Baldisseri, the Synod Secretary, for “manipulation” of the Synod and the media.

The Bishops Revolt

After the publication of the controversial mid-term report, the bishops gathered in several smaller groups, where according reports, they roundly criticised the controversial paragraphs in the report.  The individual reports of these small groups completely eliminated the controversial paragraphs, and instead re-affirmed the timeless teaching of the Church on marriage and divorce.

At the conclusion of the small groups meetings, on October 17, Cardinal Baldisseri, Synod Secretary General, announced that the position papers of the small groups would not be published.  At this stage, the cardinals and bishops revolted, with Cardinal George Pell reportedly standing up, slamming his hands on the table, and exclaiming: “Stop manipulating this Synod!”  A vote was called, and the Synod body overwhelmingly approved the publication of the reports of the small groups.

Can the Pope Change Doctrine?

Despite mostly being a general observer in the synod proceedings rather than an active participant, the unseen, powerful hand of the pope can clearly be seen behind this liberal, reformist push to redefine the Church’s timeless teachings on marriage.  It was the pope, after all, who invited his favourite theologian, the arch-liberal Cardinal Walter Kasper, to speak in front of all the bishops in February 2014, where he initially presented his controversial proposal to allow divorced and remarried Catholics to receive communion.

It was the pope who allowed the Australian couple Ron and Mavis Pirola to speak during the synod and encourage the bishops to accept gay couples.  The couple testified about a friend who allowed their gay son to invite his “partner” to Christmas dinner with the entire family.

It was the pope who appointed Archbishop Bruno Forte, who as Synod special secretary, wrote the controversial paragraphs of the mid-term report. It was the pope who allowed the subsequent distribution of such report to the media, even before the bishops themselves had seen it – sparking a global media firestorm proclaiming a “change” in the Church’s approach to gays and divorcees.

Clearly, the events show where the sympathies of the pope lie – squarely on the side of the liberal agenda of Cardinal Kasper and company.  The difficult question, therefore, needs to be asked: If the pope changes Catholic doctrine, and adopts a teaching contrary to the clear words of Jesus in the gospel, are we as Catholics still obliged to follow a wrong teaching?

American cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, former head of the Vatican’s top canon law court, told the US news website Buzzfeed: “The pope is not free to change the Church’s teachings with regard to the immorality of homosexual acts or the insolubility of marriage or any other doctrine of the faith.”

This synod will be followed by a year of consultations, and a follow-up questionnaire will be sent out to dioceses around the world. A second, larger synod will then be held in October 2015.


  1. Dear, Brs/Srs, in Christ, Let us join together to opose and reject the work of the devil
    And rember that the ALMIGHTY GOD is watching avery step we take, and each avery decision we make. So it’s up to us to Chose where we belong and whom we sarve .we cannot sarve 2 masters, so the Chance is ours.TO Keep on to the teaching of our LORD JESUS CHRIST or to Change his teaching and do as we wish.
    Aword to the wise is enough.please open yr EYES very careful
    May GOD Bless

  2. Jesus Christ’ teachings are ultimate and no one has the right to correct God. Evil is evil and therefore pray to God Almighty to prevail upon the evil doers. Holy Mother ,pray for us and the church leaders.

  3. Our Lady of fatima warned us. Sr.Lucy warned of the diabolical disorientation, and that many bshops ate on the rosd to jell and dragging many along with them. Stick to the apostolic doctrine unchanged.

  4. I want to thank the courageous cardinals for standing firm and defending the faith. I ask for prayers for the misguided cardinals who are questioning how best to love our neighbors who are living in sin.

  5. I thank those cardinals and those bishops who are firm in defending the doctrine as laid down by Christ. My prayer goes for them all.

  6. It is a narrow road to heaven, we must take up our cross and follow Jesus, the cross meaning conforming to the 10 Commandments but at the same time be merciful to all who are finding it difficult without giving permission to sin, not easy. St Michael the Archangel, pray for us and protect the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ and his Vicar Pope Francis.

  7. This synod highlights the need to be wary. But, against the Pope! I follow Christ not the Pope making up doctrine up as he goes along. He seems to be driven by a agenda not of this world.
    Next it’ll be head of the one world church and the division of Israel. It is just on the horizon, wait and see. Thank you Cardinal Pell for your Truthfulness and Faith.

  8. Ten Commandments is given to be followed and not to be ignored.. so there is nothing to be changed… my prayers to those who fight for our faith

    V. Let us pray for our Sovereign Pontiff N.
    R. The Lord preserve him and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth, and deliver
    him not to the will of his enemies.

  10. those who have loosed grip of the true beauty, the terrific price, Christ has to pay to lay the foundation of the Church with His Precious Blood are now digging into the foundations of the walls of the church to drag it on the mud, but I say they are fools, by yielding to illogical logic of the ancient Lucifer, unlike St. John the Baptist who said He will increase and I will decrease what the actions of this Pope and those beating this drums from the pit of Hell for him is saying is that we must increase while Jesus Christ will decrease. I thank God that the Church was built on Gods foundation and not on man’s or satans foundation, they can ransack the Church, to rape its sacred values and Godly undiluted Divine Teachings. Is now a question of the dog eating the bone hanged on its neck to look after, he wants to call Jesus Christ old, by over turning his teachings and enthroning other large evil legions of change, because if one clear evil is set in, by the silencing of good men, then many more and uncountable others will be flown in after that first one, it has been the oldest and clearest bulk work of the devil, who has been pushing on every side of the Sacred teachings of Christ seeking for all things to destroy. Rather than fan the ember of raising the flame of faith in a world wobbling in confusion of faith, he has decided to make the few sheep to suffer deeply in their heart for the Church. We must be watchful, stand firm and the devil will run away.

  11. Beware of the Anglican & its Episcopal ways, the Protestantism that payed the way for The Christian Apostasy, like in its first meeting rejected by voting against women bishops( the bible expressively forbids women preachers unto spiritual authority to the very proof that the Apostasy to the falling away commenced with the Anglican & its Episcopals through women preachers falling/compromising on Sodom , the very marker) & its very next year manipulated its clergy to vote for it, deceiving its faithful all over. The wisdom of the Bible against women preaching stems from the event at Eden unto the Biblical words “It was the woman that was found in the transgression & not Adam” to know that the temptation was a spiritual one, for ever since satan has a sort of spiritual hold on women for no matter how sincere they may be, spiritually satan turns it to his advantage.

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