Pope Francis on Synodality

Bet you ten bucks Pope Francis ends the Schism:

On June 29, during the ceremony of the blessing and imposition of the pallium on 34 metropolitan archbishops, Pope Francis spoke about “the path of collegiality” as the road that can lead the church to “grow in harmony with the service of primacy.” So I ask: “How can we reconcile in harmony Petrine primacy and collegiality? Which roads are feasible also from an ecumenical perspective?”

The pope responds, “We must walk together: the people, the bishops and the pope. Synodality should be lived at various levels. Maybe it is time to change the methods of the Synod of Bishops, because it seems to me that the current method is not dynamic. This will also have ecumenical value, especially with our Orthodox brethren. From them we can learn more about the meaning of episcopal collegiality and the tradition of synodality. The joint effort of reflection, looking at how the church was governed in the early centuries, before the breakup between East and West, will bear fruit in due time. In ecumenical relations it is important not only to know each other better, but also to recognize what the Spirit has sown in the other as a gift for us. I want to continue the discussion that was begun in 2007 by the joint [Catholic–Orthodox] commission on how to exercise the Petrine primacy, which led to the signing of the Ravenna Document. We must continue on this path.”

I ask how Pope Francis envisions the future unity of the church in light of this response. He answers: “We must walk united with our differences: there is no other way to become one. This is the way of Jesus.”

  • Tom

    So is that ten bucks with everyone who reads this post individually, everyone who has ever read Badcatholic, or some giant conglomerate?

    • Jared Clark

      No. Me, personally. My ten bucks. ;)

  • http://remnantofremnant.blogspot.com/ priest’s wife

    please please please

    • K C Sunbeam

      We will NEVER have unity unless we get rid of this idea of the infallibility of the Pope, ex cathedra or otherwise, and of the infallibility of the Roman Catholic branch independent of everyone else. These ideas are foreign to the early Church and only cause resentment.
      “K. C. Sunbeam”
      my website: http://shockedbytruth.jimdo.com

      • Aaron Lopez

        “We” get rid? I’m not sure the Catholic Church will be getting rid of infallibility on faith and morals any time soon, precisely because our Church is the one established by Jesus Christ, built on the rock of foundation that is Peter. In order to preserve this truth, the Church declared dogma the infallibility of the Magisterium and Pope. It is not foreign to the “early Church” – this is how they preserved orthodox belief and combatted heresies.

        The Catholic Church’s loyalty lies with God first. If our loyalty hurts the feelings of non-Catholic brethren, it’s unfortunate, and we will work towards reconciliation. Just not at the expense of loving God.

        • Alex

          ““We must walk united with our differences: there is no other way to become one.”

          That is unity at the expense of truth.

          • Mike M

            That depends on what one means by that. Some differences may be over definitively revealed Truth, while others may be over custom, culture, etc. It is good for people to try to find paths to move beyond separations caused the the latter sort of differences… but, there’s little use in moving past the first, as you’ll be trading Truth for very temporary unity.

        • K C Sunbeam

          Aaron,
          Nice post. We certainly must not get rid of the infallibility of faith and morals. The original faith and morals are absolutes.
          And Peter is certainly the rock upon which the Church was built.
          But would Peter and his early successors approve of the massive amount of annulments, the belief in a Big Bang which birthed lizards which evolved into people, and other corruptions and perversions of the 21st century Catholic Church? God forbid!

          • Cal-J

            Oh, dear.

            The Big Bang theory is anti-Christianity now? When did that happen?

          • K C Sunbeam

            It happened when atheistic scientists invented it to either get rid of God, or put Him in the back seat as an impersonal First Cause.

          • BobSykes

            The Catholic Church formally accepts the reality of evolution but is silent on Darwin’s theories of natural, kin and sexual selection. Opposition to well-established science is what Paul called a stumbling block. It prevents evangelization of the unbelievers and drive some believers out of the Church.

          • savvy

            Darwin’s theories are not articles of faith or morals and have nothing to do with evangelization or re-union with the Orthodox.

            Apples and Oranges.

          • BobSykes

            The promotion of patent nonsense such as attacks on Darwin or the Big Bang offends the sensibilities of educated, rational people and prevents them from accepting the faith. So they have everything to do with evangelization.

            As to re-union with the Orthodox, they don’t want it because they do not believe the Catholic Church or the Protestant Churches are true New Testament Churches. When my niece married a Greek Orthodox man she had to convert and be rebaptized. The introduction to the Orthodox Study Bible is enlightening on this matter.

          • Russel

            Hi. I know I’m totally late to this discussion; I only came across this post today. But I wanted to let K C Sunbeam know that the Big Bang theory was actually first proposed not by an atheist but by Father Georges LeMaitre, a Catholic priest. And the theory met strong resistance in the scientific community initially because it implied the universe was not eternal (as was widely held at the time) but actually had a beginning point, prior to which it did not exist – not an idea atheists would be likely to embrace.

  • Montague

    Wow, it’s cool that Pope Francis contemplates one of my favorite Caravaggio pieces… The Calling of St. Matthew has always symbolized for me the undying nature and the beauty of Christianity, because it does not get old, staring at it. It’s not stuck in a cold eternity, but a sun-lit, active, living eternity. There is no tragedy in the painting, no hardness and darkness just off screen.

    I sincerely hope you are correct, Marc. No, I should say, I pray to God you are right.

    • http://indefinitecrisis.wordpress.com/ Michael H
      • Montague

        I was specifically referring to the quality that many paintings have that disturbs me when I stare at them – the feeling that the image is unbreathingly static, dead, and that off the edge of the image, the world just continues on as a dead flat grey line. Caravaggio’s image, on the other hand, gives a sort of vivacity to the characters – a moment transfixed in the midst of action rather than in the midst of cosmic dereliction. That is what I mean by no hardness and darkness – not that it doesn’t show evil, but that even that evil afflicts something more alive than the living dead.

  • Patrick Button

    I’ll take that bet. As much as I would love to see the schism healed, there are irreconcilable difference between Rome and the East. Asking the Orthodox to accept papal infallibility would be like asking us to abandon it. Not gonna happen.

    • BobSykes

      One could state that Papal Infallibility applies only to the Catholic Church and its doctrine. The filioque is a bigger problem.

      • Del Sydebothom

        It wouldn’t make sense to say that, though. If there is a charism of infallibility (and I believe there is), then statements made under its use are necessarily true–necessarily conforming to reality as it actually is. I don’t think the Orthodox would buy a line that says, “Well, this is true over here for us, but false over there for you.”

        • BobSykes

          The deeper problem is that the Orthodox Church wants nothing to do with the Catholic and Protestant Churches, and believes that neither qualifies as a true New Testament Church. The introduction to the “Orthodox Study Bible” (Thomas Nelson, Nashville/Dallas, 2008) is especially illuminating in this regard as it includes a lengthy discussion of the historical disputes. I do not think there is any possibility of reconciliation. If anything important happens, it might be large-scale defections from the Catholic Church to the Orthodox Church, inspired by our current Pope.

  • Alex

    Bet you ten bucks he drives thousands of faithful Catholics into Orthodoxy, and that Moscow will want nothing to do with a Rome that coddles homosexuals and has a liturgy that is downright tacky.

  • Ivan

    The only people I ever see talking about the potential of healing the schism are Catholics (and Catholic-to-Orthodox converts who tend to suffer from disunity with their families). Because we Orthodox haven’t seen anything like what we would need to even consider such a move.

    It seems farcical to contemplate a reunion between two sides when only one side appears eager to pursue it. We know that neither side is prepared.

    • savvy

      Nope. The Patriarch of Constantinople has called for working towards it.

      If you ask me the Orthodox just need to open up the reception of communion to Catholics, since this exists on the other side, and God will do the rest.

  • JoeCool1138

    (Boromir)
    One does not simply heal a thousand-year schism overnight.
    (/Boromir)

    I’ll take that bet.

    • Cal-J

      A thousand years is overnight?

  • Tony

    Francis and Bart are certainly two people who would both be deserving of such a moment in the halls of history. Not convinced it’ll happen in this lifetime though, but the heart wouldn’t dare take up the bet.
    Although there are differences between West and East still to this day, they pale in comparison to the tidal waves of the modern world that push them together… whether some like it or not.


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