Synod Fathers in the Image of Francis (1)

August 30, 2023

Published on July 7, 2023, the list of participants in the XVI General Assembly of the Ordinary Synod of Bishops – or Synod on Synodality – in October, was released to the press by the Vatican. It includes ordinary members, in accordance with the Apostolic Constitution Episcopalis communio (September 15, 2018), but also participants specifically appointed by Pope Francis.

As Michael Haynes notes on LifeSiteNews July 7, 2023, “A differentiation can be observed between the delegates chosen by their own churches or bishops’ conferences to participate in the Synod, and those personally picked by Pore Francis.”

Guardians of the Conciliar Revolution

Among the 50 or so members appointed by him, the most notable are:

Bishop Stephen Chow S.J.: The pro-CCP Bishop of Hong Kong who downplayed fears about secret Vatican-China deal.

Bishop Timothy Costelloe: Bishop of Perth (Australia), opposed to the traditional Mass, who shocked Australian Catholics when he oversaw an indigenous pagan ritual at the beginning of the opening Mass of the 5th Australian Plenary Synod.

Cardinal Blase Cupich: Archbishop of Chicago, United States, known in particular for his promotion of LGBT Masses and his restriction of traditional Latin Masses, who recently praised the heterodox German Synodal Path.

Cardinal Josef De Kesel: Archbishop Emeritus of Mechelen-Brussels, Belgium, who signed and approved the notorious document of his fellow Belgian bishops promulgating blessings for same-sex couples. Meeting Francis a few months later during the ad limina visit, De Kesel said the meeting had been “invariably warm,” and that the Belgian bishops had not been admonished for their document.

Cardinal Wilton Gregory: Archbishop of Washington D.C. (USA), raised to the cardinalate by Francis in 2020, with a long list of actions against family and tradition.

Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich S.J.: Archbishop of Luxembourg, General Rapporteur of the Synod and recently appointed member of the Pope's Council of Cardinals. He is a prominently pro-LGBT cardinal who has previously claimed he is “in full agreement with Pope Francis” about opposing Catholic teaching on homosexuality.

Cardinal Robert McElroy: Bishop of San Diego, California, a notoriously heterodox bishop, recently elevated to the rank of cardinal in 2022, who promotes communion for people in actively immoral LGBT lifestyles, and who has been accused by Bishops Thomas Paprocki (Springfield, Illinois) and Athanasius Schneider (auxiliary of Astana, Kazakhstan) of de facto excommunicating himself.

Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodrigues Maradiaga: Former President of Pope Francis’ Council of Cardinal Advisors and his close confidant. He was surrounded by scandals for many years, including financial and sexual cover-up allegations.

Father James Martin S.J.: Notoriously pro-LGBT Jesuit, and member of the Dicastery for Communication, who has enjoyed growing papal favor despite his long and consistent promotion of LGBT ideology, in dissent from Catholic teaching. “He has promoted an image drawn from a series of blasphemous, homoerotic works showing Christ as a homosexual, promoted same-sex civil unions, and described viewing God as male as ‘damaging.’”

Facing these ultra-progressive personalities, we find certain names intended to give the illusion of an equal representation of opposing tendencies:

Cardinal Luis Ladaria Ferrer S.J.: Outgoing prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, under whose tenure the CDF issued its ban on same-sex blessings in 2021.

Cardinal Gerhard Müller: Cardinal Ladaria's predecessor as prefect of the CDF, who has condemned the Synod as a “hostile takeover” of the Church that threatens to “end” Catholicism.

Bishop Stefan Oster: Bishop of Passau, Germany, who was one of the few dissenting voices at various stages of the disastrous and heterodox German Synodal Path.

Michael Haynes continues by relating this confidence: “In light of the announcement, veteran Vatican journalist Edward Pentin stated that a ‘senior Church leader’ told him recently that some of these clerics ‘don’t have any criteria of objective, methodological and correct theology. They no longer have the objectivity of divine revelation, only a subjective understanding, according to prejudices.’”

To this long list of participants will be added “special invitees” or “fraternal delegates,” who do not hold voting rights, unlike non-bishop and even lay participants designated as “members of the assembly.” Francis chose 70 of them in a personal capacity.

Among the “special invitees” is Brother Alois, prior of the Taizé community who will hand over his charge this year to a British Anglican, Brother Matthew. Alois is heavily involved in leading an ecumenical prayer vigil in St. Peter's Square, intended to promote “the path to Christian unity and the path of synodal conversion of the Church,” in other words: the conversion of the Church to synodality.

In addition, the English Dominican Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, notoriously pro-LGBT, is cited as one of the two “spiritual assistants” of the synod. He was personally invited by the Pope to preach a pre-synodal retreat for the bishops.