Rorate Caeli

Synod of Bishops - final list of propositions

The Holy Father allowed the non-official publication of the final list of propositions of the Synod of Bishops on the "New Evangelization" in English - the official Latin text will be made available in the future.

The entire list is available here, and includes the following:


The Synod Fathers recognize the teaching of Vatican II as a vital instrument for transmitting the faith in the context of the New Evangelization. At the same time, they consider that the documents of the Council should be properly read and interpreted. Therefore, they wish to manifest their adherence to the thought of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, who has indicated the hermeneutical principle of reform within continuity so as to be able to discover in those texts the authentic spirit of the Council. “There is the "hermeneutic of reform", of renewal in the continuity of the one subject-Church which the Lord has given to us. She is a subject which increases in time and develops, yet always remaining the same, the one subject of the journeying People of God. [...] However, wherever this interpretation guided the implementation of the Council, new life developed and new fruit ripened” (Benedict XVI, Address to the Roman Curia, 22 December 2005). In this way it will be possible to respond to the need for renewal required by the modern world and, at the same time, faithfully preserve the identity of the Church’s nature and mission.

Proposition 16 : RELIGIOUS LIBERTY

The Synod Fathers reaffirm that religious freedom is a basic human right. This includes the freedom of conscience and also the liberty to freely choose one’s religion. We are in solidarity with our brothers and sisters, in different parts of the world, who are suffering from lack of religious freedom and even persecution.
In light of the recognition of the Second Vatican Council as an instrument for the New Evangelization and the growing need to protect the religious liberty of Christians throughout the world, the Synod Fathers propose a renewed commitment to and wider diffusion of the teachings of Dignitatis Humanae. This renewal seeks to affirm and promote freedom in religious matters for individuals, families and institutions to protect the common good of all. Such a freedom includes the right to teach the Christian faith without compromise of its tenets to children in the family and/or school.

The Synod Fathers propose that the Holy Father consider the opportuneness of establishing a commission of Church leaders representing various parts of the Church throughout the world or entrusting this task to the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, to address attacks on religious liberty, and to obtain accurate information for public witness to the fundamental right to religious freedom and freedom of conscience.

Proposition 35 : LITURGY

The worthy celebration of the Sacred Liturgy, God’s most treasured gift to us, is the source of the highest expression of our life in Christ (cf. Sacrosanctum concilium, 10). It is, therefore, the primary and most powerful expression of the new evangelization. God desires to manifest the incomparable beauty of his immeasurable and unceasing love for us through the Sacred Liturgy, and we, for our part, desire to employ what is most beautiful in our worship of God in response to his gift. In the marvelous exchange of the Sacred Liturgy, by which heaven descends to earth, salvation is at hand, calling forth repentance and conversion of heart (cf. Mt 4:17; Mk 1:15).

Evangelization in the Church calls for a liturgy that lifts the hearts of men and women to God. The liturgy is not just a human action but an encounter with God which leads to contemplation and deepening friendship with God. In this sense, the liturgy of the Church is the best school of the faith.


  1. Anonymous1:27 PM


  2. GQ Rep2:02 PM

    With the exception of the idea of religious liberty, which unfortunatly has given rise to the idea (demonstrated sometimes by actions and deeds by JPII) that all religions are equal and worthy-there's nothing to really complain about the other two propositions.

    The first was an implicit rejection of the idea of "rupture" which had a great following in the Church immediatly after Vatican II. This proposal follows more closely the mindset of Benedict XVI. I don;t get the radical liberal vibes from it that might have been evident maybe as little as 10 years ago. It's fairly balanced. Maybe in another ten years, the thinking of Synod Fathers will be even more to a rightwing stance.

    With regards to the liturgy, the sentence which spoke of the need for beauty in the worship of God is actually 100% contrary to the mindset of clergy for 40 years after Vatican II....and it is very welcome.
    I'm too young to have experienced it, but older relatives in my family have spoken of seeing magnificent Churches stripped of ornament, altars and statues smashed to pieces, vestments and liturgical objects discarded in the name of a false "spirit of Vatican II", and especially in favor of ecumenism with Protestants which was a big mistake.
    They often told me about how beautiful monstrances and chalices of gold were replaced with cups made of clay...."earthen vessels" they were called.
    I hope this mindset is virtually dead. This statement of the bishops regarding the beauty in liturgy I hope will be an impetus to restore so much Catholic liturgical beauty and liturgy which has been lost.

  3. Manfred2:06 PM

    When I read Pascendi, Lamentabili and Mediator Dei, as some examples, I did not have to put them back on the shelf with a note to myself and my family: Let's review these documents in Fifty Years! They were immediately understandable. The writers of the sixteen Vatican II documents ADMIT they were deliberately ambiguous.

  4. If we grant religious liberty to all, and especially to muslims, there will not be religious liberty to Christians - especially because of muslims.

  5. GQ Rep said:

    "...older relatives in my family have spoken of seeing magnificent Churches stripped of ornament, altars and statues smashed to pieces, vestments and liturgical objects discarded in the name of a false "spirit of Vatican II"...
    They often told me about how beautiful monstrances and chalices of gold were replaced with cups made of clay...."earthen vessels" they were called."


    They cancelled all color
    Sanctuaries stripped
    First Communions were duller.

    No crinoline whites
    Pale hues they stressed
    Only pearled-Pharisees
    Are ever so dressed.

    Roses, carnations,
    Flowers, all manners
    Left just to wither
    Gainst assertive beige banners.

    Pillars of marble
    Corinthian styles
    They decided to paint
    Like pink bathroom tiles.

    Cassocks of red
    Habits blue, white,
    Robes of distinction
    Extinct over night.

    Missals with pages
    Embossed in gloss-gold
    Latin in tint
    English-black to behold.

    Even the ribbons
    To mark scriptural prayers
    Were of green, yellow, silvers
    So to keep us from errors.

    The soft votive flames
    The red opaque glass
    Gave an aura of stillness
    Like time could not pass.

    Yet time it passed
    Vividness drained
    And populations without color
    Cannot be sustained.

    So those underground
    With red blood in blue veins
    Birthed knowledge, the arts
    Great virtues they gained.

    They did not decay
    God’s colors kept green
    For the day up above
    Once again to be seen.

    Except for those beige
    Gray fertility fades
    In their black open minds.

  6. For me, there's is no separation between the spirit of council and the real letter of the council. If we take on all the innovations of Vatican II it is very probable that we are going to relativize some catholic dogmas.

    Protestants don't have union with Christ, they are out of the flock of the Good Shepherd, they need obviously to convert themselves, they live in material or formal heresy. They don't have faith.

    Religious Liberty is an institute created by french-masons to expel the doctrine of Christ of civil society, relegating religion to a subjective aspect. This fully agree with the modern notion that reason and faith are opposite to each other, that truth about God is unreachable, that reason is not capable of reaching God and God is not a personal reality that can reveal Himself to people.

  7. Lawrence_ocds4:02 PM

    Let's wait and see what Pope Benedict XVI does with these propositions.

  8. If this is the new Evangelization plan, then the VII Church will continue to be the façade that hides away the One Holy Catholic Church. God help us! Mary Mother of God Intercede for Us!Lord have Mercy on Us!Heavenly Father Protect your Children!Lord Jesus Guide those in Authority! Holy Spirit Open their Hearts and Enlighten their Minds!

  9. Proposition 52 : ECUMENICAL DIALOGUE

    "The Synod Fathers are grateful for the progress in ecumenical dialogue since the Second Vatican Council.

    "Despite past difficulties, this dialogue was particularly shown in this Synod by the participation of... Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams..."

    1. Our bishops are aware that Mr. Williams is not an "Archbishop."

    2. Thanks in great part to "Archbishop" Williams, here is what the future holds for the wonderful ecumenical movement:

    Church of England set for November 20 vote on women bishops

    Oct 26, 2012

    LONDON (Reuters) - The Church of England is to vote on November 20 on whether to allow the ordination of women bishops...the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has expressed his strong backing for allowing female bishops..."


  10. Everyone should have religious freedom as god has given us free will! However as with all the choices we make we will be judged on these choices, Extra Ecclesia non Salus.
    As for the Liturgy, if we are being told that it must be Christocentric not homocentric then Amen Amen!

  11. Remember Lepanto!5:41 PM

    Miserere, Domine.

  12. Spero6:07 PM

    This is a little disheartening. Originally it seemed that the "hermenuetic of continuity" signified Vatican II in light of Tradition (you can dispute for yourselves about this possibility); but more and more it sounds like "remember that we who are doing what we are doing now are the ones who were doing what we were doing then." Of course emphasizing the subject-Church is fine and good. One of the great evils of the hermeneutic of rupture is that it leads us to think we have made a new Church. But what about doctrine?
    Can we please start a "hermeneutic of mere accidental change on what is substantially immutable?"

  13. Gratias8:30 PM

    If the liturgy is important then the bishops should allow the Extraordinary Form, which is de facto suppressed.

    Thanks for the poem, Long-Skirts.

  14. I think it's relevant that the "religious liberty" document stressed religious liberty FOR CHRISTIANS (ie, in China, Nigeria, etc).

  15. A Sinner is onto something that this blog's readers tend to forget. The religious liberty documents were phrased as to get the attention of those behind the Iron Curtain. Much of Bl John Paul II's ministry was shaped around his experiences of the horrors of Nazism and Communism. If read in that light, then I think the religious liberty statements in the last 50 years make sense; the state cannot coerce one towards a religion, or no religion.

  16. Picard11:22 AM

    As I first read Gleize´s (fsspx) analysis that the Vatican has a total different understanding of "tradition", "continuitiy" etc. than the the sspx resp than the words traditionally meant, I thought that it was kind of overstatement or misunderstandung of/from the side of the sspx.

    But now - and after indepth investigation of some Vatican declarations - it is getting clear:
    yes, the sspx got it all right - Rome has a totally different understanding of "continuity", "tradition" etc.:

    Here again we have it: the one SUBJECT Church is in continuity with itselfe -- Whilst the sspx speaks about the object of faith and insists that this must be uninterrupted and unchanged so that there is doctrinal contiunuity as such - the Vatican speaks about the subject of tradition and faith.
    And declares its continuity - without showing it on the objectiv level of doctrine.

    And, vice versa, they go on praising Vat. II and DH, etc. And the false oecumenism etc. etc.
    They see the "good fruits" etc.

    They praise the ruptural interpretation of rel. liberty and go on teaching it - contrary to Pius IX, Pius X, Benedikt XV, Pius XI, Pius XII.

    The Pope and nearly all bishops.

    The disaster is greater than I myselfe thought for a long time.

    GOD have mercy on us!

  17. Anonymous6:17 PM

    I am inclined to think like Picard on this one.
    God have mercy on us especially the Pope.


  18. Gratias said..."If the liturgy is important then the bishops should allow the Extraordinary Form, which is de facto suppressed."

    The bishops believe that the "renewed" Mass is superior in this and that way to the Traditional Roman Mass.

    "Active" participation...the supposed lack of a wall between priest and congregation...the ability to "comprehend" the Mass...

    ...everything is superior in regard to the "renewed" Mass.

    That is why a staunch "traditionalist (according to conservative Catholics) such as Archbishop Chaput said the following in 2011:

    "...I certainly want to be faithful to the Holy Father and his teaching about the traditional expression of the Roman liturgy in the Tridentine form.

    "It isn't, however, my personal interest or direction."

    Archbishop Chaput, June 30, 2010:

    "In this regard, the Novus Ordo, the new order of the Mass promulgated after the council, has been a great blessing to the Church.

    "Our liturgy gives us the zeal for the evangelization and sanctification of our world.

    "The vernacular has opened up the liturgy’s content in new ways.

    "It has encouraged active, creative participation by all the faithful — not only in the liturgy but in every aspect of the Church’s mission.

    "By the way, for the record, I’m also very grateful that the Holy Father has allowed wider use of the older Tridentine form — not because I personally prefer it, in fact I find the Novus Ordo, properly celebrated, a much richer expression of worship..."

    I posted the above not to pick on Archbishop Chaput.

    Rather, I posted the above to demonstrate that so-called staunch "tradionalists" among our bishop are convinced that the "renewed" Mass is superior to the Traditonal Roman Mass.

    That is why Summorum Pontificum is all but a dead-letter throughout the Latin Church.

    Our bishops as a whole, conservative and otherwise, do not care to promote the Traditional Latin Mass as the "superior" Novus Ordo is in place throughout the Latin Church.


  19. Patrick Langan,

    The fact that God has given us free will is completely irrelevant. The "right" to worship a false god is no more real than the "right" to abortion.

    It's true that we have the ability to choose to do either of these things...the one violates the First Commandment of God, the other violates the Fifth.

    Which other Commandments do you grant men the "right" to violate?

  20. OKC Catholic12:56 PM

    Reading these "Propositions" is like standing on marshmellows! THIS is what they came up with?? What a waste of time. I thought this was a meeting of Catholic bishops, not transcendentalist! Mr. Royal of the Catholic Thing sums it up quite nicely when he states:
    "When the text tries to say why the Faith is important per se, it speaks of “the splendor of a humanity grounded in the mystery of Christ” and other idealistic, but vague, aspirations. Can we no longer say that there is “no other name” in which we are saved, no other Person who can satisfy the human heart? If we can’t say it, we can’t expect the world to believe it."

  21. Torkay1:59 PM

    I agree with OKC Catholic on the banality of these propositions, not to mention the continued affirmation of the new and erroneous definition of religious liberty. But most of all, what is this "authentic spirit of the Council"? I say it was revolutionary confusion: a vaguely defined purpose, a refusal to condemn Communism, a majority of bishops who had no idea why they were there and just wanted to get it over with, a rejection of the original schema followed by a continuous battle over verbiage, lost by the "conservatives," which resulted in disjointed, vaguely stated generalities and, the only authentic spirit of the Council is the confusion of revolution, a spirit in which Father Ratzinger wholeheartedly participated and to which he contributed. And this spirit is not Catholic, as we can see from its fruits. One might even go as far as to say that the authentic spirit of the Council was, and remains, diabolical disorientation.

  22. Dirty Harry2:00 PM

    Second Vatican documents are vital for trasmitting the faith? Really?

    My goodness, how did the Church ever get by for those first 1,900 years??? And what exactly of such sublime importance would we be missing if every teaching document of doctrine promulgated after 1959 were wiped off the face of the earth??

    I'm being serious. If somebody thinks they have some substantive answers to my questions, please post here - go ahead, make my day!

  23. Torkay said...

    "...a refusal to condemn Communism..."

    The Council, via the document Gaudium et Spes, repeated the Church's repudiation of communism.


  24. Hilltop1:47 PM

    Here's what authentic ecumenism should look like:
    Offering of Holy Mass in the extraordinary form in large churches and on occasion in the out of doors.
    Large and long outdoor processions on the Feast of Corpus Christi.
    Priests Fearlessly preaching the one true Faith
    Large Catholic families pouring into and out of church
    And all of the above for everyone to see, and ultimately, admire and long for.
    That is true ecumenism and it is gone from the Church, replaced by the "new" evangelism of TV, radio, telecom, and shallow platitudes.
    TV radio and telecom will only be HELPS to transmission of Truth. The Church needs to re-commit to the ancient -and always new- Truth. Fascination with the means of transmission and a false need for agreement with those without The Faith are distractions from the Truth.


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