Edward Pentin has written a fascinating and compelling account of the 2014 Extraordinary Synod on the Family. He looks at details into allegations of manipulations that happened during the preparation and organisation of the synod. The book is interesting in content, and rigorous in details and approach to how the synod was organised.
Pentin highlights how members of the John Paul II Institute of marriage and family were not invited to be experts at the Synod and how the processes and procedures of publishing talks from the synod were changed. He mentions the outrage from Bishops who did not believe that the interim document correctly outlined what was discussed at the synod. Pentin also notes Cardinal Baldisseri’s fury that the book “Remaining in the truth of Christ” (that rejected Kasper’s proposals) was distributed to Synod Fathers and his attempts to prevent the post office from distributing the book.
Blessed John Henry Newman once said that “Those who love the barque of Peter ought to stay out of the engine room.” Pentin mentions patronising and rude comments about Africans from leading Cardinals, and how leading individuals were manipulated during the process in order to fabricate a particular doctrinal result. Pentin also shows the opposition that was present for many of Kasper’s proposals for communion rights for the divorced and remarried.
The book isn’t quite in the style of the Da Vinci Code, but it does contain a compelling plot and is very readable and gives a good outline of how the inside of a Synod is organised under the leadership of Pope Francis.
I was disappointed that the Synod did not mention or focus on many of the wonderful family initiatives that are happening right now that can serve and encourage family life. Let’s pray that the 2015 synod can focus on some of these wonderful initiatives and help them to spread in the Church.