February 20, 2015, by Deacon Jim DeShane, Director of Pastoral Care & Marriage Coordinator Interim Director of Liturgy
In light of the Popes call for our input concerning the upcoming Synod of Bishop this fall, I thought it might be helpful to share with you a part of an interview that Pope Francis gave to America Magazine on December 7, 2014.
Question: At the recent Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family two different visions of the church surfaced, one open to debate and the other refusing to hear anything about it. What do you think?
Pope: I wouldn’t say that is quite so … true enough if you wish to simply in order to explain things, we might say that there were a few more on this side, or on the other side. What we benefited from was the process, which is not a parliamentary process but rather a protected space so that the Holy Spirit can work. Two clear qualities are needed: courage and humility to listen. And that worked very well. You could ask me, “are there any that are completely obstinate in their positions?” Yes, there surely are. But that doesn’t worry me. It’s a question of praying for the Holy Spirit to convert them , if there are such people. The prevailing feeling was a brotherly one, trying to find a way together to tackle the family’s pastoral issues.
Question: “Conservative” sectors fear that the traditional doctrine will collapse. They say the synod caused confusion.
Pope: The synod was a process; the opinion of a synodal father was just that, the opinion of a synodal father. You know some people are always afraid because they don’t read things properly, or they read some news in a newspaper, an article, and they don’t read what the synod decided, what was published. What was worthwhile about the synod? The post-synodal report, the post synod message and the popes address.
Disclosing what was said is OK; that’s why in the briefing we explained that we had said this, that or the other. Different Bishops had different approaches, but we will all move on together. All this to protect this work, so that the Holy Spirit could forward. I am not afraid.
Question: Afraid of what?
Pope: Afraid of following this trail, the road of the synod. I am not afraid because it is the road that God has asked us to follow. We must move forward”
At this time in our churches history it is so easy to be afraid … so easy to become syndical so easy to walk away regardless of which vision of Church we hold dear;
Let us follow our Pope and overcome our fears and enter into the discussion as our Pope has asked and as the Holy Spirit desires of us.
We have until March 10 to make our hopes known so the Holy Spirit can use us in His work. If you go to the website, archspm.org you will find several ways for you to be a part of the process to, as Francis says, help move us as church forward.
Reprinted from America
(Jan. 5-12, 2015) with permission of America Press, Inc., (2015). All right reserved.
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