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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The synod: spinning its wheels

Another post by Jesuit Thomas Reese on the synod - Synod ends where it began, in disagreement. Here's some of Fr. Reese's post ....

With time running out, the synodal fathers appear no closer to resolving their conflicts over issues facing the family than they were a year ago. One of the principal sticking points is over Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics who do not have an annulment. Another controversy is over the language to be used in speaking about homosexuals ....

One group of bishops, led by Cardinal Walter Kasper, would like to see a pastoral solution that would allow a penitential process leading to Communion for such Catholics but .... Kasper does not have the votes in the synod for his solution ....

Meanwhile, bishops are talking about pastoral outreach to divorced and remarried Catholics that does not include Communion. They are using words like “accompany,” “listen,” and “welcome.” This has been caricatured as “You are welcome to come into our house, but you can’t eat dinner with us.”


In the West, there is also some support for modifying the church’s approach to homosexuals. Let’s be clear: No bishop is talking about blessing gay marriages. Nor are any bishops talking about the positive aspects of these relationships as they did at the last synod .... On the other hand, some bishops are obsessive in their opposition to homosexuality. Some still see it as a lifestyle choice. Dr. Anca-Maria Cernea, a lay auditor and head of the Association of Catholic Doctors in Romania, gave an impassioned speech at the synod linking homosexuality and Marxism while arguing that homosexuals can be cured ....

The bishops are currently trapped in the old theology they learned in the seminary. They are afraid of new ideas and are not consulting with theological experts who could show them other options. As a result, it is unlikely that new pastoral approaches will be coming forth from this synod ...

I won't be surprised if the synod does end without any progress having been made. From the start the Pope has maintained no doctrines would be changed and the bishops and cardinals have ignored the results of the pre-synod Vatican survey which showed a majority of Catholics around the world disagreed with and ignored church teaching on contraception, divorce, marriage equality, sex outside marriage.


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