September 2, 2022 (Edward J. Barr) – The devil was intrigued by the Vatican’s call for input to the “Synod on Synodality.” (see The Devil learns of the Synod on Synodality) He assigned the demon of Germany to craft the demonic response, due in great part to the impressive confusion and heterodoxy spreading throughout the German church. It was now time for the demon to present his report to the prince of darkness. Shadowy forms slowly formed as the Devil’s top lieutenants gathered to hear the German demon’s proposal. They bowed crooked bodies toward the devil, drool dripping from the sides of their mouth as they attempted to feign smiles. The volume of angry exchanges among the demons grew as the chamber filled. The devil held up his hand and all background grumbling and insulting stopped. He surveyed the room, then announced loudly, “Enter.”
The putrid air of hell swirled, showering the inhabitants with bits of decayed flesh, sweat, blood, but no tears. Materializing in front of the devil was a middle-aged man dress like a Medieval monk. The demon of Germany had arrived. “Who the hell do you think you are, Martin Luther?” asked the devil. The monk bowed. “Exactly. Luther sought to reform the Church from within, to reform it in his own image. He failed, but that is what I, excuse me, that is what we shall do.” Cries of excitement erupted among the damned. The devil let them go on screaming for a while. He appreciated the demon’s pride. Then he spoke. “So, you believe you can do all that with our input to their synod?” The demon responded. “It is a critical start. But I assure you that our input will be well-received.” He paused for effect. “Shall I begin?” The devil nodded. “Proceed.”
“I will read the document first, then explain it.” The devil again nodded, and the demon began to read the hellish response. “To the Synod on Synodality, we are responding with enthusiasm to your statement in the vademecum that “the key process of the Synod on Synodality will be based on listening to people who have left the practice of the faith and on inter-religious dialogue.” We are a large group of such people, whose ranks are growing each year. Therefore, we formally present our perspectives on how to improve your church.
We believe that:
1. That Church teaching on homosexuality is false. We believe that the sociological-scientific foundation of this teaching is no longer correct. There is no homosexuality at all in the New Testament. There is only discussion of homosexual acts, which were to some extent pagan cultic acts. That was naturally forbidden. We believe it is time for the Church to make a revision in the foundation of the teaching.1 We also agree with the Pope that “Homosexual people have the right to be in a family.” As he noted in the film Francesco, “They are children of God. What we have to have is a civil union law; that way they are legally covered.”2
2. That the Catechism of the Catholic Church is not set in stone, and one is also allowed to doubt what it says.3
3. That there exists no fundamental theological obstacle to the ordination of women as priests in the Catholic church.4
4. That Amoris Laetitia (AL) endorses reception of Holy Communion by the divorced and civilly remarried.5
5. That the Church should allow Protestant spouses of Catholics to receive Communion on a regular basis, as it is consistent with the exceptional circumstances law of the Church. When a Protestant attends Mass together with a Catholic spouse, we can honestly answer that it is an exceptional case.6
6. That the Church should recognize the possible legitimacy of contraception in certain cases, in support of the legitimacy of certain homologous assisted reproduction techniques under certain conditions.7
Therefore, we urge the Church to embrace homosexual marriage, ordain women as priests, allow divorced and civilly remarried persons to receive communion, permit Protestants to partake in communion, and allow contraception. This will bring great relief to our group and others like it.
The demon of Germany stopped talking and puffed out his deformed chest in prideful satisfaction. Grumblings were soon heard throughout the audience. A demon from the back of the room jumped up. “That’s crazy. We know we have made strides in the Church, but this is too much. Their founder gave most of those teachings, like marriage, and that disgusting Tarsus apostle taught about communion. Why would they change all this now?” The grumbling grew louder as the other demons voiced their agreement with the speaker’s comments. The devil held his hands up to quiet the crowd. “He makes a good point.” The demon of Germany responded smugly. “No, he doesn’t. Everything we are proposing in our input was supported by the Vatican or one of their cardinals.” The bewildered devil bellowed. “Everything?” “Yes,” said the demon of Germany. “We would just be supporting their efforts.” The devil’s initial look of surprise turned into a smirk. “Think of it,” continued the demon. “We would be helping them turn the Catholic Church into just another generic church. Wouldn’t they be surprised if they knew the denizens of hell were supporting their efforts.” All hell broke out in raucous cheering which lasted several minutes. Then the devil answered. “I don’t know, would they?”
Edward J Barr is a catechist, an attorney, an intelligence officer, and a university faculty member. He earned a Master of Theology degree from the Augustine Institute. His new novel, The Gray Apostle: Mission of the Messiah is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other bookstores. Mr. Barr is a contributing writer for the Roma Locuta Est blog (www.RomaLocutaEst.com)
1Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, SJ, of Luxembourg, Relator General of the concluding meeting of the Synod of Bishops in October 2023, from an interview with the German Catholic news agency KNA.
2 Pope Francis, comments the Vatican claims were from a May 2019 interview with Mexican broadcaster Televisa and reported in a 2020 interview on film, Francesco.
3 Cardinal Reinhard Marx, from an interview with CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German-language news partner.
4 Cardinal José da Cruz Policarpo of Lisbon, in the Portuguese legal publication Oa.
5 Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio’s short booklet on ‘Amoris Laetitia.’
6 Cardinal Coccopalmerio in 2018 interview with Vatican Insider.
7 Pontifical Academy for Life “Theological Ethics of Life: Scripture, Tradition, and Practical Challenges,” 2021.
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