Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation

The Church’s unity is around Pope

https://www.alzogliocchiversoilcielo.com/ 03.03.2024 Enzo Bianchi Translated by: Jpic-jp.org

The Synod of Bishops, as a way forward together by the people of God, is experiencing a pause between last October's session and what should be the last one, scheduled for next October.

Certainly, the time that separates us from that appointment cannot be an idle pause, a vacatio, but rather a time of deepening, of confrontation and research on the part of theologians above all, on the part of the local Churches and, therefore, also of the bishops together with Pope Francis, Bishop of Rome. Christoph Theobald, a French Jesuit and theologian of German nationality, today among the most authoritative in the Church, has published a reflection on the Synod in which he participated as an expert, with a title that presents the current Synod as a Council, even if it does not dare to say so (Un nouveau Concile qui ne dit pas son nom? Paris 2023).

He suggests that, in fact, this Synod has taken a more conciliar form than its predecessors and is a 'continuation' of the Second Vatican Council.

Now, if it is true that the Holy Spirit blowing on the synodal assembly seems to be the same as that of the Council, if it is true that a collective discernment is taking place, I think it is nevertheless premature to judge this synod, entirely new in form, truly in continuity with Vatican II. There are in fact, unfortunately, some aporias and contradictions that make its conclusion precarious in view of the Church’s reform and the missionary message for an indifferent world that is no longer Christian.

This Synod has once again given rise to the urgent need for an "ecclesial conversion" (the "pastoral conversion" that no one knows how to define it is not enough!), a reform of the Curia not so much as a structure, but as a sensitivity and coherence with today's Church; a reform of the life of bishops and priests that leaves no room for clericalism; a reform of the life of the laity who knows how to incarnate the Christian identity by resisting worldliness and living by faith in Jesus Christ!

And this also requires that the local Churches, and within them the individual communities, be more concretely involved with the Synod as an ecclesial process. I am truly disturbed by what - in meeting parishes throughout Italy - I have heard: most people and the faithful do not know what the Synod is. And, in any case, nothing has been said or done about it in the parish. How is this possible? Why do presbyters not believe in the Synod, why do they not get involved in this ecclesial journey? And yet, it is not simply one event among many created by the Church, but it is a daily, vital process that can involve individuals and families in their life of faith. It would be really important for the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops and the Regional Bishops' Conferences to strongly call the parishes to live this synodality, without which tomorrow our Church will be more and more anonymous, frayed, poor, and certainly without the possibility of fraternity.

We have said and written it many times: the crisis of the liturgy (particularly today of Sunday Mass) is due to the lack of fraternity, to having made the Mass a place of estrangement and, therefore, to having allowed faith to weaken. There is a lack of faith and fraternity in our Christian communities. And only a synodal practice can reawaken them and bring them to life. I am personally certain of this.  

Therefore, at this time it would be a good and fruitful thing for Francis to ask the theologians, identified for their competence, to study the problems, the requests that emerged in the first session of the Synod, and that they arrive at the next meeting in October with the possibility of speaking in the assembly with a word marked by the ministry of the 'doctors' (didàskaloi) on whom the Church is founded, as well as on the apostles and prophets.

And who could with the authority of their charisma speak 'words of wisdom' and enlighten the synod proceedings. There is an urgent need for this, because it is good to have given the word to everyone, but let us not forget that everyone's words have different weight and authority in the Church. The gifts are not flattened, and while it is true that there are many gifts and charisms, among them let us not forget that those of the apostles, prophets and "doctors" prevail.

The Church of God is on a pilgrimage towards the Kingdom, she is not the heavenly Jerusalem descending from on high, she is not yet the immaculate and faithful Bride, but she is waiting for the Lord to lead her and make her immaculate with his blood, purifying and sanctifying her. We cannot dream of a pure Church as the Cathars wanted it, but we want a Church in which Christ reigns; a Church in which primacy is given to the word of God and charity is constantly sought by every Christian.

I hope that the Synod will not erase any of the 'sensitive issues' that have emerged so far, but will have a frank, unambiguous, a clear word, corresponding to the evangelical “Yes, yes. No, no" (Mt 5:37), without the worry of having to please the world and without the anxiety of condemning and without using arrogant words. The people of God led by the pastors possesses a lively sensus fidei and will not give in so easily to antagonistic or schismatic temptations - as long as the pastors are in the midst, before and behind the people, always in solidarity with them even in this crisis of the Church, which must be traversed in order to find new ways for the future.

Therefore, the unity of the Church around the Pope remains essential, who, at this time, is made the object of ecclesial rancour and wickedness that comes from the Evil One, from the Divider.

Pope Francis is the successor of Peter, and he has been called to compose and preside over communion in the Church and between the Churches. We owe him the utmost respect, even when we may disagree in our judgement on certain realities or measures. This does not mean that respectful criticism is not possible, but humility is required, and, in any case, care and prayer for those who have been placed to shepherd the Church of God.

Today the centrifugal temptations and consequently the attacks on Pope Francis - to the point of delegitimising him and even declaring him a heretic - are many and made effective by social media. But these Catholics do not know what they are saying and what they are doing. The Lord assured Peter a prayer "that your faith may not fail!"; and how can Christ not be heard by God?

See, L’unità della chiesa è attorno al papa

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The comments from our readers (1)

Paul Attard 15.03.2024 The article says "I am truly disturbed by what - in meeting parishes throughout Italy - I have heard: most people and the faithful do not know what the Synod is”. I doubt people here know either. I have never seen any notice outside the church about the synod, what it is and what it means. These important things never seem to arrive at the peoples’ level, those who make up the bulk of the Church.