It was what Italians call a "segreto di Pulcinella", that is, not a secret at all: the Pope was personally aware and personally approved the relatio post disceptationem, the "midterm" report released on Monday following the first week of the 2014 Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops "on the Family".
What has been called by many prelates a "disaster" or "unacceptable", the first official document of the Church of Rome ever accepting of very curious notions (including the "positive" aspects of same-sex "relationships"), the relatio post disceptationem had obviously been prepared, by its very timing and the astonishing (for Vatican standards) fact of the simultaneous release of several translations, long before the Synod by Lobbyists, including Cardinal Baldisseri, with the main influence of Archbishop Bruno Forte. Now, Cardinal Baldisseri, master of all Synod-related matters, has nonchalantly revealed when asked (as reported by Aleteia and by the splendid Hilary White for LifeSiteNews) that the Pope had been personally aware of it and had personally approved the content of the report.
He also made clear that the non-approved paragraphs of the final report were included as part of the main document (in complete contradiction with any supposed notion of "synodality" or consensus) by direct papal order.
To our knowledge, French historian Christophe Dickès was the first to say at the time, immediately after the publication of the midterm relatio, that its publication would have been impossible without the full knowledge and approval by the pope.
“The documents were all seen and approved by the Pope, with the approval of his presence,” Baldisseri said. “Even the documents during the [Extraordinary] Synod, such as the Relatio ante disceptatationem [the preliminary report], the Relatio post disceptationem [interim report], and the Relatio synodi [final report] were seen by him before they were published.”“This point is important not only because of his authority, but also it puts the Secretary General at ease,” the cardinal added - "wryly," according to Aleteia.In its most controversial sections, the Relatio post disceptationem, or “report after the debate,” asked whether “accepting and valuing [homosexuals’] sexual orientation” could align with Catholic doctrine; proposed allowing Communion for divorced-and-remarried Catholics on a “case-by-case basis”; and said pastors should emphasize the “positive aspects” of lifestyles the Church considers gravely sinful, including civil remarriage after divorce and premarital cohabitation.Its most controversial provisions were left out of the Synod’s final report, the Relatio synodi, but many critics have called on the Vatican nevertheless to rescind the interim document.Cardinal Baldisseri also confirmed that the pope ordered that several controversial sections in the proposed Relatio synodi, or final report, be included in the published version even though they failed to get the necessary two-thirds vote from the Synod fathers.“It was the Pope’s decision to include the points that did not receive the two-thirds majority,” he said.“The Pope said: ‘These three points received an absolute majority. They were therefore not rejected with a ‘no,’ as they received more than 50 percent approval. They are therefore issues that still need to be developed. We as a Church want a consensus. These texts can be modified, that’s clear. Once there has been further reflection, they can be modified.”These sections were re-published as part of the Lineamenta, without a note that they were rejected, that was sent out to the world’s bishops for discussion in preparation for the next Synod in October 2015.