Synod Fun!

Synod Fun! October 12, 2015

Sherry Weddell passes on the following:

Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane has written a rollicking, witty, and thought-provoking description of the first week at the Synod on the Family. He wrote it primarily for Australian Catholics but I think that Catholics from across the English speaking world would enjoy it!

A sample of rollicking:

“There was a cry of jubilation on Saturday afternoon when he said we could have a 10-minute break before we moved from the three-minute speeches into the so-called free discussion. But he told us that there would be no coffee. Boos ensued. One bishop suggested (sotto voce) that if we couldn’t have a coffee someone should open the grog-cupboard. That would have made the free discussion really interesting.”


“During the free discussion, I decided to speak. I tried to say that during the Synod discussions and those preceding there was a sense at times that it’s a matter of all or nothing – that we have two options: either to abandon the Church’s teaching on marriage and the family or to leave things exactly as they are, saying and doing what we’ve said and done for a long time. I suggested that neither of these was a real option. We weren’t going to abandon Church teaching; but it was unthinkable that we would simply say and do what we’ve always said and done. Why bother with the time, energy and expense of two Synods and all that’s gone with them if nothing whatsoever is going to change? The impression at times is that there’s really no space between the two extremes, when in fact there’s a huge space – space for all kinds of pastoral creativity. We need, I said, to expand our vision of possibility, think laterally, outside the square. That’s the task of this Synod and the real challenge to our corporate apostolic imagination: neither to abandon Church teaching or to leave things untouched, but to explore the vast territory that lies between iconoclasm and immobilism – and to do so in a way that’s practical at the point of both language and action.”

Since I’m perfectly confident the Church is not going to change anything essential in her teaching (cuz she’s indefectible) I have paid no and will pay not attention to the breathless hysterical panic emanating from the folks who are wasting time worrying that she will, that Francis is the Great Enemy of the Faith and that God has anointed them to stop The Worst Pope Since Alexander VI by squealing in comboxes or on nutjob blogs.

I will, however, occasionally note when something actually interesting or productive comes out of the Synod. All this, to repeat, is just the Church chewing stuff over. What will matter and have teeth is when the pope actually writes his teaching document in a year or so. Remain calm.

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