Ask Mary to Save Us From the Synod on Synodality

We must draw upon the Blessed Mother, the conqueror of all heresies, in response to the busybodies running the Synod show.

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Being the soul of good cheer that I am, the very last thing I want to do is send out distress signals, particularly about a Church I dearly love but increasingly fear may be in danger of losing her soul. I say that because it looks as if a certain hurricane from Hell is coming our way. Indeed, it threatens to level everything in sight. I’m talking about the Synod on Synodality, of course, during which an almost unimaginable level of self-absorption is taking place, the results of which could well prove ruinous to the morale of the faithful, i.e., those who pray, pay, and obey.  

Either that or the hype that preceded the Synod will have outrun the show, leaving us with a giant nothing burger. Either way, Christ’s Church will survive. Unless, of course, it never really belonged to Him in the first place, in which case we might as well give it to the Germans, who are well practiced in the art of destruction. 

“I think it a great cheek of the Germans to try and teach the rest of the world anything about religion,” wrote Evelyn Waugh back in 1963, when the faithful everywhere were being endlessly lectured to on the subject. “They should be in perpetual sackcloth and ashes for all their enormities from Luther to Hitler.”

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A bit hyperbolic, perhaps, but not entirely over the top. As for putting on sackcloth and ashes, it’s hard to imagine the current archbishop of Berlin wearing anything besides the approved uniform of the zeitgeist, i.e., a clown costume. Does he really think the blessing of couples in drag will endear him to the saints in Heaven? And if he thinks it’s such a good thing, why won’t he set an example and do it himself rather than sloughing it off onto his priests? Not exactly a profile in courage, is he? Maybe it’s the outfit of a weasel he needs to be wearing. 

Have I made my own position sufficiently clear by now, I wonder? Which is that we should have pulled the plug on this thing the moment it surfaced. A Synod on Synodality? What were the bishops thinking? 

Ronald Knox has written somewhere that if you picture the Church as a great ocean liner, coursing its mighty way across the sea, the last place you’d want to visit would be the engine room. Leave all that machinery to the captain and his crew, those who know how to manage these things, says Knox. Yes, but that was back when you could pretty much count on a smooth sail. What happens when the experts in the engine room don’t know anything about keeping the ship afloat? In fact, they appear rather eager to blow it all up?      

Have they no clue as to why any of us are on the boat in the first place? Or do they imagine that we’d actually welcome being pitched overboard into the swirling sea? The other day, a priest in the confessional gave me the strangest penance I’d ever received—but one which I instantly pounced on, seeing it as the most wonderful solution to the problems we face. “Ask Our Blessed Lady,” he said, “to save us from the Synod.”   A priest in the confessional gave me the strangest penance I’d ever received—but one which I pounced on, seeing it as the most wonderful solution to the problems we face. “Ask Our Blessed Lady,” he said, “to save us from the Synod.”  Tweet This

Now there’s a man after my own heart. What a perfect sunburst that was. Who else but Mary will remedy the mess our leaders have put us in? The Church Fathers at Ephesus, back in A.D. 431, certainly knew what they were doing when, having proclaimed Mary Theotokos, Mother of God, they went on to designate her as “the conqueror of all heresies.” Well, they’re running rampant in the Rhineland right now. Isn’t it about time to put an end to it? Now more than ever we need to draw upon the grace of the holy Virgin and Mother.

How very different she is from the busybodies running the Synod show. I mean, does she even talk about herself? Only rarely. And when she does, it’s to remind people to do whatever He tells you to do. Which, one would have thought, He’s already done, both in Holy Scripture and Sacred Tradition. 

And the meaning of it all? Isn’t that the chief business of the Church’s Teaching Office, to tell us what it all means? Isn’t that what popes and bishops are for? And if the job description no longer applies, then maybe it’s time to dismantle the Magisterium. And, while we’re at it, stop calling the Church Mater et Magister, Mother and Teacher. It’s ridiculous.   

So, yes, we really must turn to Mary, who, in her quiet and understated way, reminds us that a Church constantly talking about herself, fixated upon herself, really does not speak truthfully or well about herself at all. She sounds like everyone else. “To belong to a Church which is fifty years behind the times,” the late Joe Sobran wrote, “is embarrassing; to belong to one that is five-hundred years behind the times is invigorating.” 

About whom, then, is she to speak? In a word, Christ, who is the perpetual font of her being, her fruitfulness. She is thus the sacrament of Someone entirely transcendent to herself, without whose light she is no brighter than the moon without the sun. Who wants to live on a dead planet? 

Will the Germans be glad to get the memo? Or any of the other architects of synodality, who appear eager to undermine the structures that have been in place from the beginning? Yes, from the beginning. Both in nature and grace. Whether it be the teaching rooted in the order of creation itself, which affirms the truth about man and woman, thus refusing to countenance, much less bless, a whole busload of perversions too obvious to need identifying; or the teaching which directly derives from Revelation itself, thus mandating both marriage as indissoluble and priesthood as male only.

And if they don’t like it, they can just stuff it. Or however politely the pope wishes to put it. But put it he must. Or, failing the necessary nerve to do so, let him resign. There is, after all, recent precedent for doing so.  

[Photo Credit: Vatican Media]


  • Regis Martin

    Regis Martin is Professor of Theology and Faculty Associate with the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. He earned a licentiate and a doctorate in sacred theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. Martin is the author of a number of books, including Still Point: Loss, Longing, and Our Search for God (2012) and The Beggar’s Banquet (Emmaus Road). His most recent book, published by Scepter, is called Looking for Lazarus: A Preview of the Resurrection.

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