Synodal News and a Papal Saga

Brad Miner | March 20, 2024

long time ago, on a planet far away, serious Catholics looked forward to each new document from the Vatican or the pope. They expected enrichment of traditional morals or theology, or enlightenment about some world situation. These days there’s usually justified trepidation – not only over reckless remarks about Ukraine raising the white flag or how Israel should/should not respond to terror. There’s anticipation of division, confusion, and dismay. A number of such texts have recently appeared – or are about to – that seem likely to continue that well-established streak.

Pope Francis’ autobiography LIFE: My Story Through History was published officially on March 19 (more on that below).  Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández has announced that an encyclical will be issued in early April on “social questions,” which looks to be primarily a restatement of main themes of the Francis papacy on things like migration and climate, but also to placate the Cardinal’s critics by treating issues of concern to traditional Catholics such as abortion, surrogacy, gender ideology, etc.  At this juncture, however, we can be fairly certain that it will pitch things in ways that, inevitably, will invite further troubles.

Of immediate interest, there were two recent announcements as the Synod on Synodality lumbers to its conclusion in October. Or at least that was the original plan. Because now we learn that ten “theological issues” have been removed from deliberation in the October session because there isn’t sufficient time to study them adequately.

What, then, has the worldwide global synod on Synodality been doing for the past five-and-a-half years? Synodality suddenly popped up in the final report of the 2018 Synod on Youth, though it hadn’t been discussed during that meeting.

For the rest of the column, click here . . .


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