“ Cardinal Robert W. McElroy of San Diego, in his recent manifesto on synodality (“Cardinal McElroy on ‘radical inclusion’ for L.G.B.T. people, women and others in the Catholic Church”) in America magazine, has done us a tremendous service.
Why? Because he has given us the clearest articulation to date, from a high ranking prelate who enjoys the favor of Pope Francis, of what this whole synodal thing really is all about. He finally puts the guessing game to an end and tells us that the processes of synodality are leading the Church into a realm of deep “conversion”—to a radically “inclusive” Church that ordains women, has no eucharistic barriers or discipline beyond valid baptism (in a nod, I guess, to some exclusionary limits to the distribution of the liturgical hors d’oeuvres), eliminates for all intents and purposes all non-criminal sexual sins from the books, and which openly embraces and celebrates those who have previously run afoul of Church teaching on these matters.
And the latter would most especially include welcoming the divorced and civilly remarried to receive communion, as well as the entire spectrum (apparently) of our ever-expanding alphabet acronym sexual identity movement.
Cardinal McElroy is also quite clear that what the synodal process seeks is a big tent Church committed to the systematic deconstruction of all of the “structures of exclusion” in the Church. He does not explicitly define what he means by structures of exclusion, but it is clear (from what he goes on to describe) that he means all of the Church’s traditional teachings on the topics mentioned above. By direct implication, therefore, and in thinly veiled ways, what he means when he says that the synodal way is committing us to a path of deep conversion to the movement of the Holy Spirit is that we must overcome the current intolerable state of “polarization” by overcoming those who stand on the wrong side of that binary – i.e. those who still accept the Church’s traditional teachings on these matters.”