Making the difference between an exercise in listening to the spirit of the times and an exercise in “listening to the Holy Spirit”

Some promoters of the current synodal process explain that the synodal report is not an opinion poll or a sociological exercise, but an exercise in listening to the Holy Spirit who exhorts the people of God – laity, clergy and bishops – to continue to ‘walk together’ on the synodal path, despite the pitfalls.

But this raises the question of whether we can tell the difference between a listening exercise and an exercise in “listening to the Holy Spirit”. What is essential to developing trust in the process is that the proponents of this approach do not explain how they can be so sure that the conversations and listening exercises offered can be guaranteed by the presence and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

In fact, this is where the former Anglicans believe they can help. Indeed, in the world of Anglicanism, an essential part of the sociological takeover of the church by the left was almost always accompanied by the promise that the Holy Spirit was an integral part of the project. It turned out, at the end of the process, that the progressives had actually confused the zeitgeist with the Holy Spirit. Having seen this scheme used to such divisive and destructive effect, ex-Anglicans hope to share their experience of the danger it poses to the integrity of the Church.

the Catholic Herald explains that we have left the arena of Christian spirituality for that of Marxist power games. The Synodal Way has become a study of “alienation”. We’re back in the world of identity politics where the group you belong to takes precedence over your personal virtue (or lack thereof). If you are marginalized, alienated, excluded, then this conversation is for you.

The manual or vade-mecum of the synodal process says it as follows:

“Broad participation is an important part of the diocesan process, with no one excluded. “We must personally reach out to the peripheries, to those who have left the church, to those who rarely or never practice their faith, to those who experience poverty or marginalization, to refugees, to the excluded, to the voiceless, etc. .”

It rather gives the change. These are sociological categories, not ecclesial or spiritual. How does a person who has deliberately turned his back on the Church or who refuses to practice his faith constitute the Church? But in the Marxist world of sociology, responsibility and choice are less important than victimhood. And the spirit of sociology demands that they be included in order to remedy their alienation and powerlessness. The categories of interest are therefore “the poor, the marginalized, the refugees, the excluded and the voiceless”. It’s more Marx than Jesus, more the zeitgeist than the Holy Spirit. What does it matter if the orbit of the excluded exceeds the limits of the Church or not? The authors of the Synodal Way do not think so. They describe the ambitions of the listening process to include

“the wider community, especially people on the margins of society, as well as Christians and non-Christians.”

It is an important factor. This Synod does not involve a legislative process. But Anglicans know the difference between consultation and legislation. It’s not very hard. In fact, they ask questions that are closely related to the sensus fidelium. Fortunately, it is defined in the Catechism.

“The supernatural appreciation of the faith on the part of the whole people, when, from the bishops down to the last of the faithful, they manifest universal consent in matters of faith and morals”.

How do those who do not practice, who have left the Church, and who are in fact non-Christians, constitute the sensus fidelium to which the Catechism refers?

The fact is that ex-Anglicans have already seen this trick played in the Church. This is part of the spirituality of progressives. Put simply, they wrap quasi-Marxist content in a comforting spiritual blanket, and then talk a lot about the Holy Spirit.

This is how the cardinal proceeds Greek, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops. He explained the main objectives and characteristics of the synodal process, describing it as “a spiritual process” which requires listening to the Holy Spirit as well as to others.”

My lord Nazir Ali figure prominently among those who issued warnings. With exactly the sensus fidelium in mind, he addressed the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences on October 28 in Bangkok, Thailand. He suggested that synodal consultations have their limits, emphasizing that those consulted “must be catechized, perhaps even evangelized,” if not, how exactly do they constitute the Sensus Fidelium?

Making the difference between an exercise in listening to the spirit of the times and an exercise in “listening to the Holy Spirit” – Riposte-catholique