I will comment in two parts, as two documents were released today: 1) Pope Francis' speech at the conclusion and 2) the final relatio synodi
Here is the text of the Pope's remarks as they appear on the Vatican website. Please read over; you might want to have the page open in another browser window as I go through this.
First he thanks a lot of folks; that's nice. There are some notable "players" at the SinNod who received no mention. We see no gratitude expressed for Cardinal Kasper; in the light of the African quip and his subsequent lie about the interview, I can understand this omission. Likewise we saw no thanks for Cardinals Burke, Pell, Muller and Napier. These Princes of the Church aired some dirty laundry in that SinNod (as did Michael Voris) and helped provide some impetus to regularizing SinNod proceedings.
Then we hear about some "temptations". Here is the first, and I'll quote the Holy Father verbatim. I'll post it twice: one with no edits and the second with my comments interspersed.
One, a temptation to hostile inflexibility, that is, wanting to close oneself within the written word, (the letter) and not allowing oneself to be surprised by God, by the God of surprises, (the spirit); within the law, within the certitude of what we know and not of what we still need to learn and to achieve. From the time of Christ, it is the temptation of the zealous, of the scrupulous, of the solicitous and of the so-called – today – “traditionalists” and also of the intellectuals.
With my comments in red
One, a temptation to hostile inflexibility, that is, wanting to close oneself within the written word, What is the "written word" if not Sacred Scripture and Tradition, along with Church laws derived from Scripture and Tradition with the Church's teaching authority? (the letter) and not allowing oneself to be surprised by God, If any purported "surprise of God" contradicts the aforementioned "written word" we may rest assured that any such "surprise" is not of God. by the God of surprises, "God of surprises"! Where, oh where do we find that title in either Scripture or the history of the Church? (the spirit); within the law, within the certitude of what we know and not of what we still need to learn and to achieve. From the time of Christ, it is the temptation of the zealous, of the scrupulous, of the solicitous and of the so-called – today – “traditionalists” and also of the intellectuals. As one Facebook commenter quipped, the real issue is the "Church hierarchy surprises". They are not to be confused with any movement of God. Thus paragraphs 50-53 are "surprises" that were demonic; we knew that for they defied the "written word". There is no dichotomy whatsoever between God's work and His Written Word. This is not the first time this false dichotomy has been proposed. Regrettably it probably won't be the last.
Moving along we see " I have seen and I have heard – with joy and appreciation – speeches and interventions full of faith, of pastoral and doctrinal zeal, of wisdom, of frankness and of courage: and of parresia." That's nice! Please share that joy! Let us know who said what for all the speeches and interventions - as was common practice for synods until two weeks ago!
I'll end with this whopper. "And this always – we have said it here, in the Hall – without ever putting into question the fundamental truths of the Sacrament of marriage: the indissolubility, the unity, the faithfulness, the fruitfulness, that openness to life." Excuse me! Look at the interim report - particularly paragraphs 50-53! Fundamental truths of marriage were most certainly contradicted in that report. Now this is a stretch, but the only way that statement could be ever so slightly correct is if gay lifestyles were indeed not discussed on the floor and these paragraphs were surreptitiously added to the report, as Cardinal Napier suggested. I will address these paragraphs in the "part 2" post.
Some well-meaning people are waxing ecstatic about this phrase, claiming that the Pope is formally upholding Catholic teaching on marriage, per the challenges put forth by Cardinals Burke and Pell. No, this is not a formal statement upholding these teachings. All it claims is that the teachings were not flouted during the SinNod - and even that might be (ahem!) incorrect.