This story popped up on my phone this morning, as I did my morning constitutional, which customarily includes checking Canon 212, an invaluable traditional Catholic news aggregation website. The title the website's administrator (who I really respect personally) gave to the link was:
"Weigel: Bishop Konderla would make a very apt papal nominee to Synod-2018?!"
Seems like a reasonable question to me. It is after all now 2018! Here is the LINK to Weigel's blog post, in which he recalls the scandal of the rigged 2014 Synod, but then does an About-Face, turning optimistically to the next Synod, opining:
But, hey, memory is a tricky thing and this is the season of mercy, so let’s let bygones be bygones and concentrate now on Synod-2018, which will discuss youth ministry and vocational discernment. Those are very important topics.
5 Paragraph's down Weigel writes:
Bishop David Konderla of Tulsa was the director of campus ministry at Texas A&M for eleven years, where St. Mary’s Catholic Center has set the gold standard in traditional campus ministry and created a model for others to emulate. Over the past twenty years, Konderla and his predecessors have fostered more vocations to the priesthood and religious life than that school with the golden dome in northwest Indiana, while helping many Aggie men and women prepare for fruitful and faithful Catholic marriages. Bishop Konderla would make a very apt papal nominee to Synod-2018. (emphasis mine)
So of course, being the Diocese of Tulsa's effective Traditionalist Blogger here in the Heartland, I could not refrain from comment. So folks, here goes. I'm on vacation, and blogging is good R&R, sitting here in my Okie Armchair sipping diet Coke.
The Okie Traditionalist's Argument to the Contrary:
First, I must preface this post by assuring the reader, including my bishop if he reads this, and my pastor, I am committed to due respect of my Local Ordinary, who is now the recently consecrated Bishop David Konderla, formerly college chaplain and priest at College Station in Texas.
I'm thinking I'll use the scholastic method to structure my argument, mixed with a bit of satire. Why not? It is after all an excellent way to boil down issues. My approach will decidedly not be traditionalist criticism of + Konderla himself, but about the progressivist orientation of current Vatican Synods, and Weigel's own reputation for pollyanna optimism about the current state of the Church, post-Vatican II.
Question: should Bishop Konderla of Tulsa be Nominated for the 2018 Synod? It would seem Yes.
One, Mr. Weigel argues the scandal of the 2014 Synod should be forgotten, and the 2018 Synod approached in an optimistic way, which includes focus on young adults and youth, of which Bishop Konderla has had great experience.
Two, Mr. Weigel argues for Bishop Konderla's role in the Synod, since he apparently fostered more vocations to religious life at College Station than the priests at Notre Dame.
On the contrary, recall that Cardinal Burke, Bishop Schneider, and other cardinals and bishops have condemned the scandal of the 2014 Synod, as a kind of Revolution under Pope Francis to institute a progressivist pastoral policy on moral issues throughout the Church Universal, in particular regarding human sexuality. They have also issued grave warnings about plans for the next 2018 Synod. And this is now 2018.
In fact, Pope Francis himself has confirmed that the next Synod will continue the general agenda of the last one, explaining the theme:
"The theme, an expression of the pastoral care of the Church for the young, is consistent with the results of the recent Synod assemblies on the family and with the content of the post-Synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. (emphasis mine) LINK
I would argue that Bishop Konderla, my bishop, should not be nominated to any special role in the next Vatican Synod. Accepting such a nomination would mean the Tulsa bishop and Local Church objectively endorses the work of the next Synod, not to mention the work of the last one which it is continuing.
Of course the crux of the argument over the next Synod is one's view of the last Synod and its outcome. Weigel somehow takes a positive view to the outcome, in particular Amoris Laetitia,
Hello. Where can I buy some smelling salts? :)
Others disagree, including prominent Cardinals, plainly reading what Francis has stated about the document's interpretation, including elevating his famous Letter to the Argentinian bishops (confirming sacriligeous communion) to the Acts of the Apostolic See.
The agenda has already been established, to deepen even more a liberal, Francis-style pastoral policy towards modern ills. That should be obvious, and require no more demonstration. This likely includes considering official Church endorsement of the heretical position of so-called "civil unions," which the Holy Office (CDF) has already clearly condemned in past pontificates. After all, young adults also deal with the same sexual, moral issues presented in Amoris.
The main problem with Weigel's personal nomination of Bishop Konderla is that Weigel is in a serious state of denial at how scandalous the outcome of the last Synod is. Loui Verrechio has discussed this at his AKACatholic Blog, i.e. Weigel's effective dissent from Catholic teaching about marriage, in his blind, "neoconservative" adherence to Francis' policy.
Reply to Point 1. The problem of Bishop Konderla having a special voice at the next Synod, on behalf of the youth, is that he was appointed by Francis, who Cardinal Burke, three other Cardinals on record, and other prelates, are basically rightly accusing of a heretical position on communion-for-the-divorced-and-remarried-without-annulment, among other positions.
The point being, it is reasonable to suspect the modernist powers-that-be in the Vatican (and the Local Church), got the good Fr. Konderla appointed as the new bishop, because he does have a somewhat progressive approach to ministry, but more importantly because he is a team player, and someone that could be wrongfully manipulated to help advance the next phase of the great apostasy in the Church.
Reply to Point 2. Being a member of the Tulsa Diocese, having read a good deal about and by our new bishop these last couple years, my personal impression is that, yes, Bishop Konderla is committed on a personal level to orthodoxy and saving souls, in particular young people, as he did in fostering vocations. That was clear from his successes at College Station.
But, personal orthodoxy does not always equate to orthodox diocesan policies or pastoral decisions, especially during this Crisis in the Church. This is especially the case when the bishop is under the control of a presbyteral council that is as a whole, by-and-large committed to Catholic modernism, and holds sway over their Successor to the Apostles in the name of collegiality. Surely, Weigel would agree on some level this is the dynamic in virtually every diocese in the world, including at the level of Bishop Synods, even in the Vatican, as it was in 2014.
I would support an initiative of faithful, Tulsa Catholics appealing to our bishop, Bishop Konderla, to join with Cardinal Burke and other Prelates, in their defense of marriage and the Blessed Sacrament, here in the Heartland, but also if he attends this year's Synod. Oh, and to refuse participation with Cardinal Cupich in Chicago leading the American Episcopate in the implementation of the next revolutionary "paradigm shift" in the Church. Read about his Program HERE.
Emailing this post now to Mr. Weigel, to ask for a response...