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Saturday 26th August – Saturday 2nd September 2023

AUGUST IS THE MONTH OF THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY/ SEPTEMBER IS THE MONTH OF OUR LADY OF SORROWS.


Twenty- First Week of Ordinary Time


Dear parishioners,


A PANDORA’S BOX OF REVOLUTION IN THE CHURCH


You might have picked up on the fact that over the last couple of years or so, The Church has been made to undergo something called ‘the Synod on Synodality’. It may have sounded like one of those wordy-churchy things that doesn’t concern or interest you. Perhaps if you thought anything at all, it was ‘just let them get on with it’ or ‘yeah, whatever’, because it is not clear to many what this ‘synod on synodality’ actually means. Equivalent meanings might be ‘a council on council -led government’ ‘dialogue on dialoguing’ ‘a meeting on the benefit of having meetings’? None of these quite work, because we clearly know what a synod is in Church history: it is a meeting of bishops to decide or advise the pope on a particular issue, but what about ‘synodality’? What is that?


Historically, synods of bishops are ad-hoc and meet as needed and when called, but they are not integral to the governance of the church, which was founded by our Lord Jesus Christ to be governed by the hierarchy of bishops, successors to the Apostles, in communion with the Pope, successor of Peter. ‘Synodality’ on the other hand, is a very new development drawn out of the ancient catholic meaning of ‘a synod’ because ‘synodality’ infers a kind -of -governance in the church around the holding of synods. But - and it’s a big ‘but’ - even the word ‘synod’ has had its meaning shifted in its new usage because this so called ‘synod on synodality’ meeting in Rome in October, now includes many specifically invited lay people in favour of this ‘synodal’ vision whose radical voices are being ‘listened to’. In its newly changed meaning, no longer does the word ‘synod’ simply mean ‘a meeting of bishops’. With the newly invented word of ‘synodality’ and the meaning shift of ‘synod’ it is not surprising that ‘synod on synodality’ doesn’t ring bells. Meantime, from the word go of this novel process, those who hold firmly to the catholic model of the church and traditional catholic understanding of words such as ‘synod’, have been ignored and sidelined.


The next big stage of this ‘synod on synodality’ is happening in October and there are very ominous signs that it poses ‘a revolutionary threat’. Cardinal Raymond Burke, has recently commended a book called, ‘The Synodal Process is a Pandora’s Box’ * saying that this ‘synod on synodality’ is a ‘revolution’ and is causing the Church ‘grave harm’. This recently published book, reviewed by EWTN’s National Catholic Register by Edward Pentin**, denounces ‘the imminent danger of building a new Church, different from the Catholic Church as it has always existed’ and is the implementation of the ‘hostile takeover of the Catholic Church’ so succinctly spoken of by Cardinal Muller on EWTN. The authors of this book state that this so-called ‘Synod on Synodality’ ‘takes up old heresies repeatedly condemned by the magisterium’. This letter draws from Edward Pentin’s review, with a link below to the original.


According to the authors of ‘A Pandora’s Box’, in the new ‘‘listening synodal church’’ that we’ve supposedly become, debate about this synodal process has been ‘limited primarily to ‘insiders’. ‘It’s not a hidden agenda, because they’ve been making discreet references here and there about their goals, but it is a discreet agenda’ . The authors of the book aim to alert the hierarchy and the ordinary faithful about what is going on, which is why I’m forwarding these words of Cardinal Burke and so commenting on this book for St Thomas More parish today. All may seem normal but this ‘synod on synodality’ is intended as a ‘Pandora’s Box’ which once opened will implement a radical agenda that many, going back to the Marxist liberation theologians of the seventies and others before, have been waiting for their time to impose on the universal church. Is this the same vision that has caused Brazil to go from being a 90% catholic country fifty years ago, to being barely fifty percent catholic now? Because millions and millions of people have left the Catholic Church in Brazil to become protestants in the last forty to fifty years.


The idea that this ‘synod of synodality’ involves all the people of God, is also nonsensical, with perhaps not even 3% of Catholics having been in the least bit involved, and any ideas put forward that are not in accord with this vision have been dismissed and ignored. However, any consequences of decisions taken as a result of this ‘synod on synodality’, will in all likelihood fall upon God’s people. Only those who have opinions ‘on the progressive side of the board’ are considered. It is like a plebiscite used in a dictatorship to give weight to the implementation of a popular agenda, which is in fact the policy of the government that it will implement with no care for what the people actually think.


We have already seen an example of where ‘synodal government’ of the church can lead if we look at the experimental ‘Synodal Way’ that has taken place in Germany. This has led to the passing of motions approving same sex church blessings, lay preachers and an end to priestly celibacy. The synod promoter’s central intention, the authors of ‘Pandora’s Box’ say is ‘to question the very structure of the Church’. They seem to promote ‘conversion’ of the church, as if for two thousand years we have been on the wrong path. Such attempts to upend the Church’s hierarchy are, to quote Cardinal Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI) ‘a delusion’, ‘lack all legitimacy’ and ‘should be decisively and clearly refused’.


‘Those leading the German ‘Synodal Way’, constantly claim that by listening, they are responding to the ‘Holy Spirit’ and thereby justify the embracing of heresy and immorality’. This in itself is an ancient heresy. Probably never has there been false teaching, over the last two thousand years, that hasn’t claimed inspiration by the Holy Spirit, but we should never forget to remind ourselves what the Lord told us is the unforgiveable sin. To claim what is sinful as inspiration from the God the Holy Spirit is the most serious matter if such occurs. What is claimed as divine inspiration has always been and will always be tested by its accord with Holy Scripture and Tradition and not with how it conforms with the norms of the world. There is no other measure.


Cardinal Burke, thanked the authors of The Synodal Process is a Pandora’s Box’ for working so diligently on this book and praised them for explaining ‘so diligently and comprehensively a most serious situation in the Church today which rightly concerns every thoughtful Catholic and persons of good will who observe the evident and grave harm which it is inflicting upon the mystical Body of Christ’.


‘Synodality and its adjective ‘synodal’ have become slogans behind which a revolution is at work to change radically the Church’s self -understanding, in accord with contemporary ideology which denies much of what the Church as always taught and practiced’ The Cardinal writes. ‘It is not purely a theoretical matter, for the ideology has already, for some years, been put into practice in the German Church, spreading widely confusion and error, and their fruit, division – indeed schism – to the grave harm of many souls’.


Why write about this distressing and worrying subject in the weekly newsletter of our lovely little parish in England?


I do so because Cardinal Burke fears this same confusion, error and division seen in the German church will be visited upon the universal church, and is already happening at the local level in many places. Let us not be sleeping while others are leading a revolution they will want to inflict on us, because whilst this ‘Synodal Way’ has been going on in Germany, as in Brazil, thousands and thousands have publicly left the German church, probably mostly to give up their Christian faith. We must not let that happen here. Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd, tells us that even one soul lost is too many: even one person leaving the church because of false and confusing teaching is deeply concerning.


Cardinal Burke writes that only the truth of Christ, unchangeable doctrine, and the discipline of the Church ‘can address effectively the situation by uncovering the ideology at work’ in all this, ‘by correcting the deadly confusion and error and division it is propagating’ and by ‘inspiring Catholics to daily convert to Christ’. It is only through the return to the pure light, freedom and beauty of Catholic Doctrine will people be drawn back to the Church. Put simply, it’s about staying true to ourselves and being strong in our catholic identity as a parish. So let’s start with:


1. Coming to mass weekly, rain or shine, no matter where we are.

2. Making our confessions, twice a year at least, so that we are prepared to receive Holy Communion.

3. Receiving Holy Communion with visible reverence to the Real Presence, on the tongue and kneeling if we can.

4. Raising your children in Holy Matrimony so that Christ is King of your family homes with the prayers of Mary, Queen of the Family to protect you.

5. Doing good works for the benefit of one another.


The authors of ‘The Synodal Process is a Pandora’s Box’ felt compelled to write this book warning of the errors of ‘synodal reform’ because they too love our catholic identity: the church, the sacred hierarchy and Christian civilization. As a parish, we too need to be prepared for what may make headlines at the end of October: at least to understand what is going on, because in all probability, the mainstream media will not.


As Catholics, let us not dismiss what is happening elsewhere as happening in some faraway place which has nothing to do with us. We are one Church, one faith with one Lord. What happens in Rome, Germany or America affects us. But whatever comes to pass, we can make sure that the white light of Our Lord’s Presence will continue to burn in our midst and that following the Lord’s command to love one another and to ‘be one’, we will remain strong by holding true to The Faith of our Mothers and Fathers to pass on to our children.


Finally, we can join the authors of this book in their conclusion by imploring The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, ‘not to allow the disfigurement of her Divine Son’s Mystical Body’ and ‘to hasten the restoration she promised at Fatima’.


And as we come to the end of the month of the Immaculate Heart, we remember with hope Our Blessed Mother’s words at Fatima, IN THE END MY IMMACULATE HEART WILL TRIUMPH!’

*The Synodal Process Is a Pandora's Box: 100 Questions & Answers Paperback – 22 Aug. 2023

From the ‘blurb’: Heretical voices within the Catholic Church clamour for change. Their radical agenda at the Synod on Synodality is clear: Distort doctrine, subvert tradition, and dismantle the hierarchical nature of the Church. With refreshing clarity, authors Jose Antonio Ureta and Julio Loredo de Izcue explain the present crisis in their new book, The Synodal Process Is A Pandora’s Box: 100 Questions & Answers. Every page offers wisdom, insight, and truth. Every answer unmasks the sophistry, deliberate confusion, and heresy behind the Synod. The Synodal Process Is A Pandora’s Box is a cry of alarm. Find out why faithful Catholics have a moral duty to stand fast and resist the normalization of unnatural sin, women’s ordination, the reception of Holy Communion by adulterous "remarried" divorcees, and the egalitarian democratic levelling within the Catholic Church.


Price £8.58 from Amazon.


** For full article by Edward Pentin in the National Catholic Register read: New Book Warns of ‘Revolutionary’ Threat Posed by Synod on Synodality:





God Bless

Fr. Jonathon

 

UPCOMING EVENTS



Tickets and Raffle tickets are available after mass and we are looking for donations for raffle prizes and cupcakes. Raffle items (e.g. gift sets, toys, bottles etc.) must be in new condition and in original packaging and can be given to Fr. Jonathon, Melissa or ticket sellers. We are also looking for bakers who might be able to donate cupcakes, and face painters also needed. Please contact the parish office if you are able to help with any of the above or if you are available to lend a hand on the day by emailing bostallpark@rcaos.org.uk.

 

ESCORTED PILGRIMAGE TO KNOCK SHRINE, Ireland, 2nd October 2023. £699.00 per person sharing. Price includes flight, all transfers, 4 nights’ in Knock House Hotel with full board. All entertainment and excursions included. Day trips to Westport, Ballintubber Abbey, Croagh Patrick, Fr. Peyton Centre & National Museum. Single supplement £150.00. Contact Patricia or Natali on 01268 762 278 or 07740 175557 or email knockpilgrimages@gmail.com.

 

ST THOMAS MORE GOLF DAY to be held Thursday 21st September 2023 at Birchwood Park Golf course, Swanley. Anyone interested in taking part please contact Tony Brooke. 07833707016. There will be the usual charity raffle attached to the day in aid of taking sick /disabled to Lourdes. You will be offered a chance to be involved in the raffle in early September.

 

EXTRAORDINARY MINISTERS OF HOLY COMMUNION AND LECTORS - Formation Day 2023 Saturday 14th October 2023, 10.00 a.m.-4.00 p.m. For Parishes in the Deaneries of Bexley, Bromley and Greenwich Venue: St Stephen’s Church, 26 Deepdene Road, Welling, Kent DA16 3QL If you are a lector or extraordinary minister you are encouraged to put this in your diary and attend it. Please let me know if you are going so I can let them know numbers.

 
 
 

PARISH NOTICES

SPUC NOTICES

DEATHS

MASSES AND INTENTIONS FOR THE TWENTY-FIRST WEEK OF ORDINARY TIME

AUGUST PRAYER


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