Nothing to see here

Sgt. Niedermier urges calm:


There is nothing to see here!

Pell vs Pope

By Andrew Head, The Herald Sun

Civil war has erupted at the top of the Catholic Church, with 13 ­cardinals, including Australia’s George Pell, warning the Pope in a letter that the church is in ­danger of collapsing like liberal Protestant churches in the modern era.

The cardinals say the threat of collapse has been accelerated by the “abandonment of key elements of Christian belief and practice in the name of pastoral adaptation’’.

As well as Cardinal Pell, the Vatican’s Secretary for the Economy, cardinals from Bologna, ­Toronto, New York, Galveston, Nairobi, Mexico, Utrecht, Durban and Caracas signed the letter, as well as other senior Vatican ­officials. These included Guinean Cardinal Robert Sarah, the church’s Prefect for Divine Worship, and German Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, the Prefect for Doctrine.

The row centres on the three-week Synod on the Family under way in Rome and being attended by about 300 delegates, mainly bishops, from around the world…

The letter complained the ­process seemed “designed to ­facilitate predetermined results on important disputed questions’’. Several of the signatories, including Cardinal Pell, have also raised concerns ­inside the synod…


The Peronista in skirts seems to have aroused dissension within the senior ranks

He should have stuck to what he knows.

Republicans vs. Climate Science?
A Moderate Independent's Assessment of the First Democratic Presidential Debate
  • I’m waiting for all those who voiced dissent about Wizbang becoming a Catholic blog to hurl insults, threaten to leave and otherwise pass along hate and discontent…

    Instead… crickets…


    • Scalia

      Well, since you asked, I have very clearly stated that I don’t mind occasional articles on Catholicism. This is a political blog, not a Catholic discussion forum. Since you recently began posting again, every one of your posts have been related to your church, except one. On the other hand, Rodney has posted some 15 items with but one (this one) related to your church.

      So, when Rodney starts 30 more threads with a 29-1 Catholic/political ratio, he’ll get plenty of complaints. However, he won’t do that because he understands what the purpose of this blog is.

      • None so blind as those who refuse to see.

        • Why Rodney were you silent when I stated the conditions under which I would return when in fact you were on the thread?

          Blind indeed. And apparently mute.

          • jim_m

            I’d say to be careful that when you argue with Rick, you argue with “Jesus Christ to His face”, but since Rick has confessed that he only reveres Christ in the same way that he reveres Mary, it is clear that he doesn’t see Christ as God (since his argument previously was that Mary was not worshipped, she was only revered). Apparently, there is only room for one man on that throne and that is Francis.

          • I consider my communications with our host to be private unless he specifies otherwise.

      • Of course, you have no knowledge Scalia of the stipulations under which I agreed to post again on Wizbang, stipulations detailing that my participation would be decidedly Catholic in content, stipulations to which no one, particularly the Catholic owner of this blog, objected.

        • jim_m

          We are all aware because you have previously stated them. Unlike you, we do have memories that go back further than breakfast this morning.

          • And I have not, and will not, comment as to Rick and Kevin’s correspondence for the reason I have already stated.

        • Scalia

          Well, yes I do have knowledge of that because you’ve previously said the same thing. Kevin’s call us what it is, and that’s of course his prerogative.

          That said, I’m not certain that he expected the flood of posts from you, nor am I certain that he anticipated the angst it would cause.

          As I said before, I just wish you’d mix it up a bit.

    • Perhaps you should wait on your own post wherein you question the souls of those who might disagree with you. Not even crickets on that one.

      • jim_m

        You want to see what silence looks like, go to his blog. The average number of complaints on his over the top posts here would excede the number of comments he gets there in a full year.

        • Scalia

          Yes, I’ve seen his blog. Practically no activity whatsoever. That’s probably why he runs so much Catholic stuff over here. Otherwise, hardly anybody would read them.

          • jim_m

            It’s all just crossposted stuff. There isn’t any change between what he posts there and here.

          • We’re so blessed.

          • It’s true. Jim’s comments here at Wizbang far exceed the number of comments I receive at my little ole place in a year.

            You can decide for yourself what in particular that might tell you.

            I already have.

          • jim_m

            I have something to say and people respond to it(both good and bad). You have other people’s words to say and nobody cares.

            That’s what it says.

        • Thanks, no.

      • I’ve called people soulless in the heat of battle but that, in context, will show that I’m referring to their lack of compassion/sympathy/kindness toward the least of these. I don’t question anyone’s soul in the salvific sense because I’m acutely aware that sort of thing is God’s alone to judge. So… you’re either, once again, lying about what I’ve said and attempting to leverage your lies in the attempt to calumniate me or… you’ve drawn a conclusion based on ignorance.

        • In which case you are less self aware and more tone deaf as to how others will perceive what you have written than I had estimated.

          Thank you for sharing.

          • I don’t see that to be possible given previous assessments you’ve given of me personally or of my posts but hey, thank YOU for sharing.

          • Bless your heart.

          • jim_m

            LOL. Cluelessness defined.

        • jim_m

          Actually, your claim was that people not helping the needy was an explicit rejection of God because God was physically present in those people.

          The implication was that people who disagree with you were rejectng God and therefore were bound for Hell.

          Also, your claim that because you are a believe and that Christ is in the believer that anything we do you you we do to “Jesus Christ to His face” is arrogant and abiblical.You dismiss any distinction between yourself and God. When people here( and a lot more than just me do) say that you are self righteous and arrogant, they look at that claim(which you have multiple times reaffirmed) and see someone who believes that he speaks and acts for God and is angered because anyone who disagrees with Rick is disagreeing with God.

          Your recent post of a rather touching story with the statement that if we don’t feel about it the way that you do then we are soulless is just another example of how offensive and arrogant your commentary is.

        • jim_m

          Actually, you called people soulless who do not think about this article the same way as you do.

          I’m beginning to think that the reason why that over 90% of what you post is someone else’s thoughts and words is because you realize that you are incredibly inarticulate and incapable of saying something without being remarkably offensive.

    • jim_m

      So you Apparently have no problem with continuing to post Catholic centered articles but you are outraged at something that shows that there is a variety of opinion about your god, Pope Francis? How typically hypocritical of you.

    • Brett Buck

      I have seen very few insults “hurled” at you, and virtually no “hate”. You seem incapable of distinguishing between criticism, some of it admittedly harsh, and “hate”. This seems to be part of a much more general issue that you seem to exhibit, not being either willing or able to recognize legitimate differing opinions. And in fact, unable/unwilling to distinguish between or articulate your own ideas as opposed to those of others.

      I have seen very little criticism of the Catholic church religious positions here – just your interpretations/recitations/misunderstandings of them.

      • jim_m

        Actually, I don’t think there have ever been many criticisms of the RCC’s religious positions, but there have been plenty of criticisms regarding their political and economic positions as advocated chiefly by the Pope.

        • Scalia

          I think the observation that a works-based salvation is not in accord with the Scriptures could be considered criticism, but RC in general gets a pass.

          • Who has articulated a works based salvation? The RC does not.

            More confusion being sown, either wilfully or ignorantly.

          • jim_m

            Hey, how about putting that in your own words? Incapable of doing that perhaps?

          • Scalia

            That wasn’t my point.

          • Indeed not, but it is what Rick want’s to distract with.

          • What was your point?

          • Scalia

            While posters have expressed disagreement with certain points of Catholic doctrine (or perceived Catholic doctrine), they have generally avoided criticism of Catholicism in general. If Catholicism offers political solutions that differ from conservatism, criticism will be based on their workability, not the origin thereof. It is not a criticism of Catholicism, per se; it is a criticism of the political proposal (again, if one is offered). So, my point has nothing to do with with grace/works; it was merely offered as an example of isolated, not general, disagreement.

          • While posters have expressed disagreement with certain points of Catholic doctrine (or perceived Catholic doctrine), they have generally avoided criticism of Catholicism in general.

            No one is expected to read every Wizbang comment and I certainly don’t myself but to suggest that Catholicism isn’t being criticized in the comments here is to be completely mistaken. Completely.

            If Catholicism offers political solutions that differ from conservatism, criticism will be based on their workability, not the origin thereof. It is not a criticism of Catholicism, per se; it is a criticism of the political proposal (again, if one is offered). So, my point has nothing to do with with grace/works; it was merely offered as an example of isolated, not general, disagreement.

            I would argue that Catholicism is offering not political solutions but applying theological reasoning to world circumstances. That reasoning is seen to be political by those who want to leverage that reasoning, either negatively or positively, to advance their own political perspective or besmirch their political opponents. The merits of the reasoning gets ignored because the ideological filters prevent them from being seen.

          • jim_m

            Catholicism is not being criticized here, unless you are referring to the cultic belief set that you maintain as Catholicism. Or if you are referring to your Papism as Catholicism.

            But most Catholics I know are able to draw a distinction between themselves and Jesus Christ, where you are not. Nor do most Catholics believe that disagreeing with the Pope on political issues is a mortal sin, as you seem to.

            You conflate criticism of yourself with criticism of Catholicism. You have yet to identify a single example of an attack on Catholicism that is not a specific criticism of either yourself or your false god, Francis.

          • Scalia

            No one is expected to read every Wizbang comment and I certainly don’t myself but to suggest that Catholicism isn’t being criticized in the comments here is to be completely mistaken.

            Just one citation from this thread, please.

          • As I noted previously:

            “I did not mean to communicate that I was talking only about this thread. The fact of the matter is that comments made on previous threads are brought forth ad nauseum by the disordered, providing nothing more than noise I’m obliged to swat away like a bothersome gnat.”

          • Scalia

            Ok, fine. Please provide one citation from any Wizbang thread that demonstrates a general condemnation of Catholicism.

          • jim_m

          • Scalia, can we agree that the term Papist is derogatory and a pejorative? If we can’t, then it doesn’t really matter what I cite now does it… if we can, then you as an author on the blog can go to the admin comments page, use the Search feature, and type in papist.

            You’ll see more than one reference… two pages in fact of references… the first being the most recent.

            And that’s just a single example, sure to be explained away by the bigoted no doubt.

          • jim_m

            Rick, I will settle that: Papist IS a derogatory and pejorative word which I use to describe you specifically. I do not use it to describe Catholics in general.

            I do not explain it away. I believe it describes you with marvelous accuracy. You worship not God, but the Catholic Church and the Pope.

          • jim_m

            Oh, and since you claim that you only revere Christ like you only revere Mary (because you were very careful to explain that you revere Mary and not worship her as a god), I think we can dispense with the notion that you believe in a Christian God.

          • Scalia

            Yes, it is derogatory and pejorative, but without an example, it’s an empty charge. I’m not going to do your work for you. You made the allegation, so you are morality obligated to prove it.

            I suspect that it was used in reference to you, not to Catholics in general, and in the contexts in which I recall it was used, it was used to describe the poster’s belief that you worship the Pope and/or your church. You of course disagree with that characterization, but that does not mean that your opponents are anti-Catholic; it means they are anti-Rick.

            To prove your point, you will need to cite an example where Catholics in general are called papists or any when any epithlet was used to describe Catholicism in general.

          • I’m not playing this clearly rigged game, it’s pure silliness and childishness. I did the work, the fact is that it’s there for any author of this blog to find as I’ve instructed.

          • You are not doing this on my post.

          • Going once.

          • Going twice..

          • Going three times…

          • Scalia

            Then if you’re not willing to prove your charge that anti-Catholic statements have been made, then we have to conclude that your allegation is baseless.

          • That conclusion will be drawn no matter what I do.

          • Scalia

            That doesn’t absolve you from your moral obligations. False accusations are, you know, sinful.

          • He shan’t be able to respond to you on my post.

          • jim_m

            How would we know since he barely responds or defends his allegations anyway? I would let him keep digging his hole.

          • He’ll do enough digging on his own posts.

          • jim_m

            I appreciate the opportunity to show him as the fool that he is. Asking civil questions about what he is meaning that he is too proud or too ignorant to answer and demonstrating his insanity by pointing out his disordered thinking.

          • And I shan’t tolerate them.

          • jim_m

            I thought you did a nice job of maneuvering him into the realization that the criticism was not about Catholicism in general. Pity that once he got there he would not admit it.

          • Scalia

            Thanks. I respectfully and politely asked him for evidence and was literally shocked when he instructed me to do it for him. He’s let it get too personal which prevents him from admitting an obvious error. Yes, it is a pity.

          • jim_m

            The bigger pity is that he is so determined to hold a grudge that he is missing out on good opportunities for substantive debate and clarification of his views.

          • Scalia

            I would argue that Catholicism is offering not political solutions but applying theological reasoning to world circumstances.

            My remark was conditional, but even if I conceded the point (that Catholicism never offers political solutions) that doesn’t change the fact that the posters here object to what they think are political recommendations by Catholics; not to Catholicism as such. Again, please provide a citation from this threat that demonstrates otherwise.

          • I did not mean to communicate that I was talking only about this thread. The fact of the matter is that comments made on previous threads are brought forth ad nauseum by the disordered, providing nothing more than noise I’m obliged to swat away like a bothersome gnat.

          • Scalia

            See above. I’d like one citation from any thread that proves a general anti-Catholic bigotry or condemnation.

        • Brett Buck

          Conceded. Still, most of it has been through Ricks reflections, which is like a funhouse mirror.

          • jim_m

            For now we see in a funhouse mirror darkly…

      • Brett… do yourself a favor and read Jim’s comments on any of my posts… go ahead… chronicle them if you’re bored… you’ll see what I see, unless of course, you’re blind.

        I have absolutely no problem with differing opinions… I have problems with people focused on smearing Catholics and the Catholic faith, either directly or indirectly. And it occurs too often for my tastes in these comment threads.

        I have no problems with differing opinions as long as they don’t do deep dives into insults, questioning someone’s genuineness about the faith or making shit up whole cloth about what another believes which is pretty much what Jim does every time he pounds a keyboard. And that pounding is usually upvoted by the gaggle of psycophants who adore and worship the man’s insulting and demeaning personna. If you don’t see this, then you don’t want to see this.

        And if you have a problem with my looking to others who I think better articulate and communicate that which I endorse, then you had me at you have a problem.

        I have no problems looking to others to communicate what I think or believe about things… it saves time frankly and I think it to be effective. You don’t. Ok. We disagree.

        • jim_m

          I don’t smear Catholics. I criticize and mock you. You are not all Catholics you arrogant ass.

          And yes, you really did say that insulting you (or really saying anything to you) was insulting “Jesus Christ to His face”. You said it multiple times and you came back over a week later and doubled down on your cultic fantasy.

          So stop claiming that I lied about what you said. You came back and affirmed it and everyone here knows it.

        • jim_m

          Hey, anytime you want to address my criticisms directly and resolve the issue like an adult I am ready and waiting. Feel free to grow up when ever is convenient for you.

          Yes, I am demeaning toward you because you are acting like a child, you don’t actually speak for yourself and you often don’t even express your own opinions.

          I am demeaning toward you because you have multiple times come out and claimed that there is no distinction between addressing you and addressing “Jesus Christ to His face”.

          Such arrogance deserves to be mocked and demeaned and I will continue to do so as long as you maintain that ridiculous position.

        • Brett Buck

          I have rarely seen Jim insult people with the sort of passive-aggressive arrogance you show routinely. He’s generally right – in almost every post, you start out by stating “if you don’t agree with me you are _______” (disagreeing with Jesus, lack a soul, etc), before even stating your premise. I work with a lot of people who are arrogant – but in most cases, they are also competent. Even if it is irritating, it is tolerable because they know what they are talking about. In your case (and it much like Dave) you don’t seem to understand what you are posting or what it means, or the principles you parrot.

          Also, quoting various Catholic figures is fine. I am sure Mr. Sheen had some worthy things to say. But in almost every case, you either attempt to claim the quotes indicate something they do not say, or you merely parrot it without understanding. I am hardly a religious scholar, and even less so on the basic precepts of the RCC, but I get the impression I understand it better than you do.

          This is illustrated in the way that you seem utterly incapable of distinguishing between Jesus’ teachings and the basic precepts of *all* Christianity, the utterances and actions of the Pope, and the dogma and actions of the RCC – which are three WILDLY different things. Churches are created by people who are *intrinsically flawed*. I don’t see anyone saying the Pope is a bad man out to harm people. I see a lot of people with legitimate differing viewpoints on how to help people, and with the necessary objectivity to see the flaws in what the Pope espouses. You appear to lack that in entirely.

          Jesus has had nothing to say about religion for about 2015 years. Anything after that is a work of man, and subject to the flaws and failings of man. If you don’t grasp that – and you don’t – you have no business lecturing anyone about anything.

    • Scalia

      By the way, any comment on the topic of this thread?

      • Not that I’ve seen/

      • I think Tod Worner’s insights are on point…

        • jim_m

          Another link to someone else’s commentary and nothing original of his own, because he is incapable of articulating an original thought.

          And actually, the link leaves open the impression that this is a rubber stamp meeting, and that the Pope has already decided what the output will be and that is why the Bishops are so upset.

          While the parable about the adulterous woman is a good example of Mercy the issue here is also the turning of a blind eye and acceptance of sin.

          I Cor 5:11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people. 12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”

          Paul says to remove those who are habitually in sin from the congregation. So why does Francis want to push for acceptance of homosexual couples in the church? Mainly because he has lost his way.

          I think you could articulate a biblical argument for accepting divorced couples (as has been done by all Protestant denominations) but I don’t think that you can do so for cohabiting or same sex couples.

          Francis wants to conform the church to the world, which is not surprising since he is so focused on political ideas and not on theological ones.

          Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God

        • Scalia

          I stopped reading your links a long time ago. Links are useful when certain facts may be in question or to supplement dialog with more information, but you appear to be using links in lieu of dialog.

          I didn’t ask for a link. What are your own thoughts on the topic of this thread?

          • jim_m

            It would actually be interesting to hear Rick defend giving communion to same sex couples.

            What do you think the odds are that he does?

          • Scalia

            Given his track record, I assume that he would defend it if the Pope says it’s okay.

          • The Pope will never, I repeat, never say it’s ok because the Pope cannot go against core Catholic doctrine. Jim’s assertion is one based in complete ignorance. Which should be surprising to… oh… no one rational really.

          • jim_m

            I asserted nothing. Read it again. I asked the question. Scalia in turn suggested that you would support anything if the Pope supported it.

          • jim_m

            If, as you claim, the Pope can never go against core Catholic doctrine, then why is there even a discussion regarding communion for the divorced and remarried, cohabitating or same-sex partners? If the Pope cannot go against that doctrine then the matter would not require discussion across two years and 3 synods.

            Answer these:
            What is the Pope’s intent by fostering a discussion about a challenge to a doctrine that he can never go against?

            How is the Pope benefiting by promoting discord within the Church hierarchy, when according to you such discord is unnecessary?

            Why are the Bishops so irate toward the Pope if they are arguing in favor of a position you claim the he, himself holds?

            Your declaration about what the Pope will or will not do does not make sense in light of the circumstances and the behaviors of the people involved.

          • I think Mr. Worner speaks for me. You don’t want to read that link, then don’t. Really that simple.

          • Someone must since you never do.

          • Scalia

            Commentary on a blog is designed for conversations between participants; it isn’t a battle of links. Again, if there is a dispute over facts or if further information is needed, links are helpful, but they shouldn’t be provided in lieu of discussion.

            Since you’re Catholic, I understand that your replies will be informed by your worldview. If you’re not prepared to engage participants in real dialog, then you shouldn’t post. It’s really that simple.

          • I don’t have the time, nor the desire, nor the necessary pride, to spell out in my own words what others are saying and I agree with. In my mind, it’s completely unnecessary.

            Of course, this also depends on who I’m responding to. I’ve come to the conclusion that some people warrant no response.

            When I have the time, the desire, and see the need, I can, I have and certainly will.

            In this particular case, Mr. Worner provides the thoughts I think worthy in terms of a response to Rodney’s post. You don’t need to follow the link but then don’t use your lack of wanting to follow that link as substance for deriding my personal choices. That’s weak.

            And let’s face it. I’ve found but a few people here on Wizbang who are actually open to what I personally have to say. Most (who do respond) are simply waiting, while salivating, to post their insults, their derision, their lies and their ridicule and why, as you yourself have opined, would any rational person care to engage the disordered?

          • Scalia

            I have endeavored to be civil and substantive. I don’t speak on behalf of anybody else, nor was my observation in relation to anybody but me. I don’t know why you’re bringing others into this. I asked you a question and told you that I don’t accept links in lieu of discussion. You’d rather post a link. Understood. I’ll move on.

          • I’ve appreciated your civility. it’s a breath of freaking fresh air. The comment I’m responding to suggested, to me, that this wasn’t simply about our back and forth but the wider back and forth I’m experiencing as a poster and commenter.

            Your not accepting links in lieu of discussion is a restraint/constraint I’m not willing to accept.

            So I don’t have a problem moving on either.

          • jim_m

            Rick Rice: “Your not accepting links in lieu of discussion is a restraint/constraint I’m not willing to accept.”

            The same Rick Rice: “I have ZERO respect for your opinions…”

            I will give him points for consistency.

          • We all started out civil and substantive.

          • We did? Seriously?

            That’s complete horse manure.

          • Thank you for sharing your fertilizer.

          • jim_m

            True that. We all did except for you.

          • jim_m

            Let’s all remember what Rick had to say to Scalia on Sept 7:

            I have, as my faith obliges, respect for you as a person. I have ZERO respect for your opinions

            Let’s dispense with pretending that Rick seeks an honest debate. I think his posting of links rather than his own opinions shows the contempt in which he holds everyone here.

            Let’s also dispense with the idea that the first half of that quote is honest. For we know that while he claims that he respects others because his “faith obliges” him to, he has demonstrated that several of the people on this blog he does not respect despite his claimed religious obligation.

          • jim_m

            Should we then conclude that, like Mr Worner, you are without conviction as to whether or not the Pope’s or the Bishops’ point of view is correct on these issues?

  • jim_m

    I actually think that this is good for the RCC as this shows that not only is there real diversity of opinion, but it shows that the church hierarchy really does care about their teachings and dogma and are not blindly followinng the new socialist Pope down the rat hole he is trying to take them.

  • From the NIV, a popular version of the bible:

    Somebody pass this on to he with the serious case of OCD…

    • jim_m

      Prov 21:24 The proud and arrogant person—“Mocker” is his name—behaves with insolent fury.

      We can trade Bible verses all night. It still doesn’t make you a believer in God.

      Funny, how you believe that insulting you is to insult “Jesus Christ to His face”, yet you believe that you have God’s own blessing to insult with impunity anyone else you choose out of your own selfishness and pride.

      Hypocrites go to Hell, Rick.

      • The devil himself can quote scripture at will.

        • jim_m

          Very true. And so can the LDS, the JW’s, the Adventists, and virtually every Christian cult.

          • Don’t forget the Latter Day Saints.

          • jim_m


            But it is the tactic of every hypocrite to quote Bible verses to insult and demean their detractors. Rick does the same. He is willing to drag God’s name through the mud to satisfy his own ego.

          • D’oh!

        • Oh the irony…

  • Read my comments quickly, Graves has threatened deletion.

  • jim_m

    Here is another explanation of the disaster that Francis has created with this synod:At every turn, this synod has been a train wreck. Even the question of which bishops would be chosen to participate has been steeped in controversy. For instance, Cardinal Raymond Burke, one of America’s foremost theologians and experts in canon law, was excluded, at the pope’s discretion. Instead, Francis chose to invite the retired Belgian Archbishop Godfried Daneels.

    Daneels is notable for many reasons. Like Monsignor Charamsa, he takes a more progressive view of homosexuality, saying that the Church “has never opposed the fact that there should exist a sort of ‘marriage’ between homosexuals.” But here’s Damian Thompson on what makes Danneels particularly loathsome:

    In 2010, a man confided in Danneels that he had been abused by a bishop, Roger Vangheluwe. The cardinal, who didn’t know he was being tape-recorded, told him to shut up until after the bishop retired.

    But it’s not just the appointment of corrupt and left wing Bishops to replace those more grounded in Catholic teachings, it is that Francis has moved to predetermine the outcome of the synod:

    Also irregular are the procedures Francis set for
    the synod. The goal of a synod is to produce a document with recommendations for the Holy Father. In prior synods, this document was crafted by a drafting committee whose members were elected by the general assembly. The assembly voted on various propositions as the synod progressed. At the close the meeting, when the final document was complete, the assembly voted to accept or reject this document not as a
    whole, but paragraph by paragraph.

    In Francis’s synod, the members of the drafting committee were appointed, without consultation. There is no voting on propositions during the synod exercises. And when the final document is finished in a week or two, there will be only a single, up-or-down, vote on it.

    Understandably, many of the bishops present feel as though these rules were established to usher in a predetermined outcome.

    The message seems clear. Francis wants to take the Catholic Church on an abrupt lurch to the radically far left and he will brook no dissension as he does so.