Sunday, 25 October 2015

Participant's account of a Synod compromising between good and evil, truth and a lie

Allow me to draw your attention to a truly remarkable interview about this month's Family Synod recorded here in Rome with Dr Anca-Maria Cernea, a medical doctor from Romania.  The interview is expertly conducted by John-Henry Westen, editor-in-chief of LifeSite News. Dr Cernea has been a lay “auditor” at the Family Synod this month, representing lay Catholics in Romania.

Anca-Maria's historically significant eyewitness account of what happened at the Family Synod is invaluable for Catholics at this troubling time for our Church. It's also essential viewing for everyone involved in the pro-life and pro-family movements. She is particularly impressive in her explanation of why contraception is closely linked to abortion, which is all the more persuasive in view of her expertise and experience as a medical doctor.

Yesterday, I wrote about the crisis of trust in the Church in the wake of the Family Synod.

What happened at the Synod has huge implications for the spread of the culture of death throughout the world - and, please God, for the beginning of a more effective resistance to the culture of death.

Dr Cernea’s deep and compassionate understanding of major issues facing the world and the Church today exactly reflects my own understanding of Catholic faith, of pro-life issues, and of issues such as the global "homosexual 'rights'" and reproductive "right" (contraception and abortion) agenda which are being pursued, including within the Church, at the cost of so much human suffering.

I ask you to consider watching this 30-minute video from the beginning to the end and to give serious consideration to what she has to say.

If there is anything arising from this interview about which you want to write to me, please do so.

Truth has a force of its own

John-Henry Westen introduces Dr Cernea as a "star of the Synod" and so she is ... for reasons you will clearly see. Quite simply: Dr Anca-Maria speaks the truth and, as she puts it, "truth has a force of its own" which is heard and understood because it speaks directly to the human heart.

Lack of faithful love breaks marriages

Dr Cernea begins by speaking about the causes which break families. She refers in this connection to her mother and father. Her father was imprisoned for 16 years, after a year's interrogation, by the communists in Romania for leading a party which opposed, firstly, fascism, and, secondly, communism.

Anca-Maria's mother, to whom he was engaged, waited for her father for 16 years, not knowing whether he was alive or dead. When he was released, he had not changed from the man he always was. He married Anca-Maria's mother and they had two daughters. Dr Cernea makes the point that beautiful, faithful love is the foundation of marriage and, (therefore, by implication), it's the lack of beautiful, faithful love which primarily destroys marriage - not social, economic causes, not poverty or consumerism.

There is nothing like the poverty of a person engaged to be married to a political prisoner. Her mother was a pariah in Communist Romania and was persecuted very cruelly. However, her parents' faithfulness, their love for each other, triumphed over all obstacles and Dr Cernea - an eloquent spokeswoman for family and life – and her younger sister, are alive today to vindicate that love and faithfulness.

Dr Anca-Maria's view of same-sex relationships

John-Henry Westen asked what Dr Cernea thought, as a medical doctor, about the promotion at the Family Synod of same-sex relationships. In her reply, Dr Cernea stresses that it's very important for the Church to maintain its normal doctrine: the sinfulness of homosexual acts and the importance of helping out people who act in this way. In this connection it is important to recognize the harmfulness of homosexual acts, in her experience as a doctor, to physical health. The Church, Anca-Maria says, has a duty to care about both the eternal life and earthly life of those in same-sex relationships. The world worries about obesity and the dangers of smoking; how much more should the world and the Church be concerned about those in same-sex relationships who are exposing themselves to disease and early death.

She compared the obsession of certain Synod Fathers with homosexuality with the lack of any reference to alcoholism which is a really huge problem in Romania and elsewhere and which really destroys families. If you're talking about problems affecting families, Dr Cernea said, why not talk about one which is much more significant [than homosexuality] in terms of statistics.

Bishops who promote the acceptance of same-sex relationships: Dr Cernea’s reaction

John-Henry Westen asked Dr Cernea what she thought about Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago — who said at a Vatican press office on 16th October that the conscience is "inviolable" and that he believes divorced and remarried couples could be permitted to receive the sacraments, if they have "come to a decision" to do so "in good conscience" - theological reasoning that he indicated would also apply to homosexual couples.

Dr Cernea said that she wished that Archbishop Cupich and Synod Fathers who suggest that homosexual relationships could be accepted could have been with her in her surgery when she was telling a 23 year-old man told that he is HIV positive. She said she could not describe the despair expressed by such patients. This young man, a child, she says, has been the victim of homosexual propaganda encouraging him to experiment. This young man had been told that if he protected himself he would be safe. Such propaganda is really criminal, Dr Cernea said. The young man told Dr Cernea: "It can't be true, I have protected myself."

Leninist minority at the Synod

John-Henry asked Dr Anca-Maria whether views like that of Archbishop Cupich were heard a lot in the Synod. Dr Cernea said "Yes" but from a small minority of Synod participants - what is called in Romania a "Leninist minority". This minority is well-organised and well-co-ordinated (a point confirmed by an eastern European bishop Voice of the Family met whilst in Rome). The impact of this minority, however, is enhanced by others who keep silent.

She said that this group was being very careful not to go too far in what they say. They want a final report which is a compromise between good and evil, between the truth and a lie.

What about abortion at the Synod?

In answer to John-Henry's question, Dr Anca-Maria said that there was virtually no talk in the Synod about the after-effects of abortion (a huge source of suffering virtually completely ignored). She said that there was to be a powerful attack on the teaching of Humanae Vitae - the Church's teaching on the intrinsic evil of contraceptive acts. Dr Cernea makes the point that if one attacks the Church's view on contraception, it inevitably takes one on the path that abortion will also be accepted. She said that so many "contraceptives" also work abortifaciently and, when contraception does not provide the expected result (i.e. no child), abortion is much more readily chosen. Dr Anca-Maria also spoke about the silence in the Synod (and in the Instrumentum Laboris the working document of the Synod) concerning the babies destroyed through in-vitro fertilisation procedures "so many babies frozen" used as experimental material in research, simply lost in the process etc.

Heteredox positions adopted by some Synod Fathers are offensive to the memory of Catholic martyrs

What was Dr Cernea's reaction to bishops pursuing contrary to Catholic teaching during the Family Synod, John-Henry Westen asked. She replied that what such Synod Fathers were doing was "offensive" to the memory of the many many martyrs for the Catholic faith in Romania and elsewhere.

Business of the Church is to care about salvation not to pursue ideologies

Romanians could understand, she said, from their experience of Communism, how ideological language such as "sustainable development" is used to smuggle in political goals promoting abortion and contraception under ideological terms like "reproductive health". Such ideological language has no place in Church discussions and documents. The business of the Church is to care about the salvation of souls.

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