An excerpt from Edward Pentin's new book: The Coercing of Cardinal Erdö
SB shared this with me which I now share with you. I had all intentions of ignoring the Synod on the Family this year, but after Father Z's talk at Knight of Divine Mercy I'm going to follow it despite a major case of Synod Fatigue. You may also have seen that the pope is removing protection for mothers and children against deadbeat dads whom abandon them(aka changing the annulment process). It may be he's hoping to issue some kind of token gesture to the Germans, or perhaps more of an all out capitulation for what the Germans hope gives them a big cash grab. Every time a marriage is voided, an angel gets his wings, and a poor kid gets a meal. Also, the rules for the Synod are being changed, probably to avoid the embarrassment of being so thoroughly exposed last time. It seems likely that the Synod will not express the will of the synod participants or even the Catholic community at large, but more of a push by the New Modernists, whom don't seek to change "doctrine" (because they lost that battle) but only the "practice."
I'm purchasing this book, which some day will sit along The Rhine Flows Into The Tiber in a collection on the disastrous influence of the German Catholic Church on the rest of the world(well maybe Pentin doesn't blame the Germans per se, but obviously the Kasper/Marx group continues to exercise a negative influence on marriage).
On October 15, 2013, Pope Francis named the solidly orthodox Hungarian Péter Cardinal Erdö, archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, as general relator of the synod. As usual with general relators, his task would be to give the introductory address at the beginning of the synod underlining the goals of the meeting. He would also gather the results of the discussions that took place and, with the assistance of Archbishop Forte, the special secretary of the synod, compile reports of the discussions, including the interim Relatio.
Cardinal Erdö is a canon lawyer who knows the orthodox tradition on divorce and remarriage, including its failings. Shortly before the synod, he decided to enlist the help of a scholar from outside the synod to assist with the Relatio ante disceptationem, his introductory report.32 By that time, Cardinal Baldisseri had already pressured Erdö to rewrite parts of the document and insert passages written by Forte and others.
On Friday, October 3, two days before the opening of the synod, this scholar received a call directly from Cardinal Erdö to come and meet him the next day. “I said: ‘Sure, when would you like me to come, maybe 4 or 5 P.M.’ ”, reported the scholar, thinking he would prefer to meet after a siesta after lunch. But the call was more urgent than that. Erdö wanted to see him at 1:30 P.M.
When he arrived at Cardinal Erdö’s office, the Hungarian cardinal was “ashen faced”. He had just come from Cardinal Baldisseri. Erdö had read to Baldisseri the Relatio that he had written, and the synod secretary general had picked it apart. “He’d just brow-beaten him into submission”, the scholar said.
Cardinal Erdö had, it seems, drafted the document with the opening line beginning with “Jesus Christ is our Master before all others and our only Lord”, and had stated, in an allusion to 2 Timothy, that the faithful owe obedience to Him whether it is convenient or not convenient.
“We’re sitting across the table from another, and he says with a tortured expression on his face: ‘Cardinal Baldisseri wants me to change that.’ ”
“I said ‘Why?’ ”
“He said: ‘It’s negative’ and that I should I begin with the ‘Joy of the Gospel’ [Pope Francis’ 2014 apostolic exhortation]33 and quote Pope Francis. Before Jesus Christ.”
Erdö asked the scholar: “Do you think I should quote Pope Francis first?”
The expert had been told by someone who knew Cardinal Erdö well that, although solidly orthodox, he would be liable to backtrack under pressure.
“You could have knocked me over with a feather”, the scholar told me. “Here we are, two days before the opening, there’s the Mass, two days before, and he’s asking me if we should start with Jesus Christ? I said, ‘Eminence, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is the Alpha and the Omega. We start with Jesus Christ.’ He left it in. You’ll see it, it’s still the first line.”
But the cardinal was not so successful with the second line. In his draft, Cardinal Erdö had wanted to move from Jesus Christ to Pope Paul VI, Evangelii nuntiandi (his 1975 apostolic exhortation on evangelization in the modern world), and from there to Pope Saint John Paul II with Familiaris consortio and then Benedict XVI and finally Pope Francis.
But Cardinal Baldisseri said, “No, invert the order.” He wanted the opening Relatio to begin first with Francis and Evangelii gaudium and then cover the other popes. The scholar reminded Erdö that it was common to start with the earlier popes and follow through, in chronological order, to more recent popes, because that is how doctrine develops.
Despite this, Cardinal Baldisseri got his way. According to the scholar, after pushing Erdö to make several rewrites and appealing directly to the pope to have contributions from Forte and others reinstated that Erdö had removed, the text was accepted.
In the report, it is still Jesus first, but then it is Francis, and then it is Paul. “Every reference to truth, the Word, bothered Baldisseri”, the scholar observed. “That’s Baldisseri”, he said. “He wanted mercy, a lot of mercy, less truth.”
“Poor Erdö, he wasn’t able to write his own document”, said one inside source. The Hungarian cardinal himself publicly referred to the introductory report as “my so-called document”.
The final version is “not horrible”, and it is “not a bad speech, but it’s not as hard-hitting as the original version was”, the scholar noted.
Some have said that Cardinal Erdö was affected by a family bereavement, although this has not been confirmed. His Eminence declined requests to comment on the synod. Critics suggest that, despite having stared down communism in his native Hungary, he was pressured to conform to the agenda of others not normally given such authority to write the document and that his willingness to do this was anticipated by those who selected him.
“That’s why they picked him. He’s easily manipulable. He looked okay to the public, but they knew they could control him”, the scholar said. Still, he felt the cardinal “really scored one for the right side” when he interrupted Forte at the press conference for the interim document. “You could see he was just tired of the manipulation”, he said.34
Pentin, Edward. The Rigging of a Vatican Synod (Kindle Locations 286-331). Ignatius Press.