Real BOMFOG

Last week, I did the last thing Pope Francis would want:  I yelled at people for not liking Pope Francis.  A few commenters pointed out that it doesn’t help anyone to cement the “us vs. them”  mentality, when we’re all supposed to be part of the same family.  ”BOMFOG,” they used to call it — brotherhood of man under the fatherhood of God — I guess because Nelson Rockerfeller used to use the phrase constantly, maybe thoughtlessly, in his speeches.

Well, so, now Pope Francis is calling what’s called an “extraordinary synod” to discuss the subject of family.  And man, this is not going to be any thoughtless, jargoned hot air.  According to the Catholic Herald:

The extraordinary synod will see heads of Eastern churches, presidents of the bishops’ conferences, and heads of Curia offices gather at the Vatican from October 5 – 19 for a meeting entitled “Pastoral Challenges of the Family in Context of Evangelisation”.

A 1969 extraordinary session was dedicated to improving cooperation between the Holy See and national bishops’ conferences; and a 1985 extraordinary session, dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the end of the Second Vatican Council, recommended the compilation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which was published seven years later.

Pope Francis had told reporters accompanying him on his plane back from Rio de Janeiro in July that the next synod would explore a “somewhat deeper pastoral care of marriage,” including the question of the eligibility of divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion.

He added that at the time that Church law governing marriage annulments also “has to be reviewed, because ecclesiastical tribunals are not sufficient for this. It is complex, the problem of the pastoral care of marriage.” Such problems, he said, exemplified a general need for forgiveness in the Church today.

“The Church is a mother, and she must travel this path of mercy, and find a form of mercy for all,” the Pope added.

Go, Papa!  Bring this family of man together.

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  • richard

    BOMFOG is a new one on me. It occurred to me that unity between the East and West bodies of the Church ought to come soon to strengthen pastoral work.

  • kiwords

    I can’t tell you how much this means to me. I’m a convert – at least, I’ve been trying to convert for the last two years. Two years with no sacraments as we wait on the annulment process. It’s been so painful. It’s hard enough to convert, to change the culture of how you approach God, but to try to embrace all those changes without being actually allowed in…I know God hasn’t actually rejected me, but there have been times it certainly felt like it.
    I know people are going to be angry about this, because I’ve heard PLENTY of rhetoric about how people like me are ruining the Church, with our easy annulments (they are not amused when I ask WHERE, DEAR GOD, WHERE DO I GET THE EASY KIND?), and I understand that no one wants to undermine the Church’s teaching on marriage. But oh. The thought that Pope Francis has some appreciation for how hard this path is. Not to be melodramatic here, but I’m crying.

    • MightyMighty11

      Prayers for you and your process; God bless you for persevering.

  • J Jaeger

    @kiwords:disqus – My wait was four years and worth every single second – and yes, I was plenty angry at times, felt rejected, questioned God; my parish Pastor was incredibly patient and the folks at the Tribunal got more than one earful (I later apologized). But fourteen years on I can tell you this: I’d had the “easy” approach to marriage, divorce and remarriage in protestantism and it happily assisted me in destroying my family. The Church’s process healed so many things and introduced me to the realities of marriage and family that I’d seen in action but refused to acknowledge because it was all about me and my “happiness.” I am so grateful to the Church. If it weren’t for Catholic teaching on marriage and family, I’d have ended my second marriage and likely moved on to a third. Instead, I’m learning the true dignity of each human person and how that fits in every part of life, including marriage and family. And I’m close with my grown child and little grandchildren because the annulment process opened my eyes to what I’d done to her so that I could take responsibility, apologize and build a new relationship. A church that really, truly loves you doesn’t shy from the hard truths we can all see if we will only look around.

    • MightyMighty11

      I’d like this twice if I could. Go you!