Rorate Caeli

- The Pianist: "How I Plan to Manipulate the Synod At Will"
One of our most important translations

Since our earliest days, we have posted thousands of translations of texts that presented to our readers different views and experiences of the Church. Yet, we can say that the following is one of most relevant ones we have ever provided, due to its grave implications.


The setting is a sumptuous dinner, not long ago. The main character is one of the most influential characters of the current pontificate, a man whose presence in the 2013 conclave was absolutely essential to its surprising outcome. He is the kingmaker, whose slender and agile abilities remind some of a highly skilled piano virtuoso, so he might as well be called The Pianist. Inebriated by his great success, he unceremoniously spilled the beans, revealing how he carefully planned and carefully plans to manipulate the upcoming Synod of Bishops to get the results that are intended.

What he did not know was that what he said would reach the ears of one of the greatest Vaticanists in the world, Marco Tosatti, senior religious correspondent for ancient Turin daily La Stampa

"Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear."

THE SYNOD: How I Manipulate It…

Marco Tosatti 
La Stampa
September 20, 2014

The Synod on the Family will discuss many things, but the mass-media will probably focus on one thing only, i.e. the possibility of people married in church, divorced (with no recognition of annulment from the previous union) and re-married being able to receive Communion. There is a plan to manipulate it… 

It has already happened many times, when priests, even “conservative” ones, on examining the individual situation, take it upon themselves to say: receive Communion, but discreetly. This has been going on since the time of John Paul II. 

One might as well know it! Cardinal Kasper twenty years ago had already his own idea on the subject which was not accepted by the two previous pontificates; but now,  with the advent of Bergoglio, he has taken the opportunity to propose it again. Despite the fact that from Manila to Berlin, from New York to Africa, the great majority of his colleagues have once again reaffirmed the Doctrine of the Church, based (alas!) on the words of Jesus; one of the few cases where the statement is neat, clear, definitive, and not even placed in doubt by the professional choppers of pericopes.

In short, things for Kasper and Co. would appear not to be going so well. Yet there might be a way of helping him, along with trying to stop the bothersome voices from being too loud.

The first point consists in asking that the written presentations be handed in well in advance. Which has been done. Anyone who wanted to present a statement at the Synod had to have it delivered by the 8th of September.

Second: read all of the presentations carefully, and if some of them seem perhaps particularly peppery, before the problematic speech itself is delivered, allow a speaker to attempt to respond, to all, or part of the problems raised by the prepared statement itself.

Third: if some presentations appear to be problematic, say that unfortunately there isn’t enough time to allow everyone to speak, but nonetheless the text has been received, and remains in the records, and is sure to be taken into account in the final report.

In effect the Synod itself will not be so important, but the synthesis that will be made thereof, and which will carry the Pope’s signature as a “Post-Synodal Exhortation”. Besides, very probably it will not be a clear definitive text, but based on “fluctuating” interpretation – in such a way that anyone reading it may construe for himself the parts that are agreeable to him.

A modest observation from a poor reporter: if one has such an elaborate and shrewd plan, why speak of it in front of perfect strangers at a sumptuous dinner?

[Source, in Italian. Tip: Il blog di Raffaella. Translation: contributor Francesca Romana.]
[Original posting time: September 20, 9 p.m. GMT]