|Bishop Franz-Josef Hermann Bode|
On Moday, Bishop Franz-Josef Hermann Bode of Osnabrück, Germany - one of the members of the Circulus Germanicus at the 2015 Synod - expressed his hope that the final document, expected from Pope Francis some time after the conclusion of the Synod in three weeks time, would retain the ambiguous and even duplicitous character of the Instrumentum Laboris by "simply letting things remain juxtaposed." Making things clear - speaking in "black and white" terms, as Bishop Bode described it - would be counterproductive, as it would fail to allow a sufficient degree of differentiation in each individual case.
Readers will recall the bombshell admission by Cardinal Walter Kasper two years ago (L'Osservatore Romano, April 12, 2013) regarding the intentional ambiguities left in the documents of Vatican II:
In many places, [the Council Fathers] had to find compromise formulas, in which, often, the positions of the majority are located immediately next to those of the minority, designed to delimit them. Thus, the conciliar texts themselves have a huge potential for conflict, open the door to a selective reception in either direction.
Bishop Bode justified his hope for a continuation of this policy of ambiguity by doling out progressive catchphrases such as "unity in diversity" and appealing to what he termed "asynchronicities" (Ungleichzeitigkeiten) between various cultures, a rather transparent attempt at whitewashing the widening gulf between faithful Catholics around the world and the general apostasy in the West as the product of differing levels of cultural "development." He finished by offering the most strained of theological foundations:
Our God is not a monad; therefore, our community cannot be monolithic in the sense of a unified party.
Goodbye, Unity of Faith and Morals. Hello, Rainbow of Diversity.