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Sunday, October 25, 2015

More on the synod

Two more articles from Jesuit Thomas Reese and one by Frank Bruni of the New York Times on the synod ...

Synod on remarried Catholics, consensus in ambiguity

[...] What is remarkable about the three paragraphs dealing with divorced and remarried Catholics is that the words Communion and Eucharist never appear. Yes, that’s right, they never mention Communion as a conclusion of this internal forum process.

So what does it mean? A conservative might interpret it as closed to Communion because it was not mentioned in the text. A liberal might interpret it as including Communion since it is not explicitly excluded in the text.

I think that the truth is that Communion was not mentioned because that was the only way the paragraphs could get a two-thirds majority. Like the Second Vatican Council, the synod achieved consensus through ambiguity. This means that they are leaving Pope Francis free to do whatever he thinks best ....

If a brother, why not a sister in the synod?

If a religious brother can be a voting member of the synod of bishops, why can't a religious sister?

This was the question I asked Br. Herve Janson who is the first voting member of the synod of bishops who is not a bishop or priest. He is the superior general of the Little Brothers of Jesus and was selected by the International Union of Superiors General to be one of their 10 representatives at the synod. All the rest are priests.

Theologically and canonically, he is are no different from the superior of a women's religious order, except for his gender. He is not a cleric. He is not ordained. As one of my Jesuit brothers used to say to people who thought all Jesuits are priests, "think of me as a male nun."

So how exactly did Br. Janson get in? What is the rationale for his being admitted to the synod and for women religious not being admitted to the synod? .....

What Family Really Means

[...] Are most Catholics even paying attention [to the synod] ?

We in the media are drawn to these doctrinal wars and the hushed, cloaked deliberations inside the Vatican.

People in the pews are less rapt. The warmth and respect they feel for the current pope doesn’t translate into any obeisance to church edict.

According to a survey by the Pew Research Center earlier this year, only one in three American Catholics believes that it’s sinful to live with a romantic partner outside of marriage. Only one in five believes that it’s sinful to get a divorce.

While 44 percent of the respondents in that poll frowned on sexual relations between two men or two women, 39 percent didn’t.

And while respondents clearly viewed a family headed by a father and a mother who are married to each other as the ideal, most of them did not view it as the only acceptable situation. More than 80 percent were O.K. with divorced parents, single parents or unmarried parents living together. More than 65 percent were O.K. with gay or lesbian parents.

That openness to a variety of arrangements is sometimes described — by religious leaders, by social conservatives — as a drift away from morality, a sad surrender to an anything-goes ethos.

But the truth is more complicated and less somber than that .....


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