NPR is calling it a “seismic change”.  Hysterical Reactionaries like Christopher Ferrara in my email box are calling it a “catastrophe” while declaring that the Pope worships an “invented deity”.  (Remind me again: the difference between Reactionary Catholics and Fundamentalist Protestants is what now?)  And the Catholics in the middle are just trying to figure out what’s going on?So what’s all the hysteria about? Well, to put it simply, it’s  a sort of whirlwind of media theological illiteracy and Reactionary panic, all generated by the completely non-volatile mixture of Catholicism, politics and sex being tackled by #Synod14.  Easy peasy!First, some background:The latest in months of Reactionary panic (ongoing since March 2013 with the election of Francis) was on display last week in the fears about “gradualism” being discussed at the Synod. What’s gradualism? Gradualism is the common sense fact that conversion usually takes a long time and sinners typically require baby steps to change.  Calah Alexander, who is, like Yr. Obdt. Svt, a wretched sinner, has some rather appreciative words for gradualism. To which I say, “Hear! Hear!” I’ve never met a confessor who was not a gradualist and I doubt you have either. Indeed, most confessors I know tend to discourage gigantic vows of massive instantaneous conversion, particularly with entrenched sins. Why? Because when we fail to keep them, as we almost surely will, we can fly to the opposite end of the spectrum and despair. So the counsels tend to be “slow and steady wins the race”.Unfortunately, Reactionaries (who tend to lack people skills) tend also to understand “gradualism” to mean “Let’s gradually change basic Church teaching until it conforms to the world, the flesh, and the devil.”  When they hear “gradualism” they don’t hear “How can the Church welcome sinners and help them to become saints by baby step?”  They

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