Cardinal Pell, Archbishop Forte differ sharply on Synod's final report [CWN]

In separate interviews following the conclusion of the Synod of Bishops, Archbishop Bruno Forte and Cardinal George Pell offered contradictory interpretations of the synod’s final …


From the article:

In separate interviews following the conclusion of the Synod of Bishops, Archbishop Bruno Forte and Cardinal George Pell offered contradictory interpretations of the synod’s final report, which was approved on October 24.

While the reports differ sharply, as the title suggests, the two views are not contradictory. This inability to synthesize these two views is why I am so skeptical of attempts to synthesize new doctrine from known doctrine, as I have seen occurring often of late. Cardinal Pell said the document did not address the issue of Communion for the remarried. AB Forte did not contradict this. In fact, on this point, he agreed that the idea was side-stepped because it is not as simple as yes-no.

Of course there will be differing opinions. Less than a third (not enough to change it), wanted the matter clearly addressed as being forbidden. However, that meant that more than two-thirds of the bishops there did not want to see communion for the remarried forbidden, at least in* this* document. This is not to say that the majority of the bishops believe it possible for some remarried people to receive communion, though that is one possibility. It may also be that some thought that it was not the place of the synod to create a new doctrine on this matter. After all, the Holy Father did say he didn’t want any change in doctrine.

It’s sort of disheartening when two bishops who attended the same synod, can state “contradictory interpretations of the synod’s final report.”

To me, it’s evidence of a lack of clarity. However, it’s also discouraging that lack of clarity has seemingly now become a virtue.

What is perhaps what only appears as a contradiction was both highly predictable and inevitable. The perception was there were opposing views before the synod and now the perception by some, at least in the media, of opposing views following the synod. The final document of the synod, at least as it has been reported, recommends the recognition of what in essence is Canon 130 of the 1983 code of Canon Law. This would entail a wide recognition of the internal forum provided by Canon Law, or something similar, which has not been recognized in recent years with respect to the divorced and remarried receiving communion.

It has become a necessity.

It is if what is a difference of perspectives is ever to be bridged.

Indeed. Perhaps some guidance from our separated brethren could be helpful:

“The challenge for us will be for the church to model good disagreement and to continue to demonstrate love for those who disagree on theological grounds. My aim, and I believe the aim of the whole church, should be to be able to offer a place of welcome and growth for all. Today is a time of blessing and gift from God and thus of generosity. It is not winner take all, but in love a time for the family to move on together.”
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby September 2014


Thank you for quoting Archbishop Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury. I can speak for the Anglican Communion in that it is struggling with the same concerns of theological differences within the Church as you are. We are seeing the Northern and Southern Hemisphere gulf as well. Welcome to the new age of the Church!

Perhaps for us as Anglicans, the conversations have been, for the most part, out in the open. For you, as Roman Catholics, they have been behind closed doors. Now you can see a bit more of what has been going on for years.

But to the point the ABC made, we can still be in fellowship and love with those we so strongly disagree with. It takes some doing though. It may involve some walking away, as both Churches have experienced. But in the end, we are children of God, and Christ’s Body. We’ll work through it.

Perhaps. I had always thought, paraphrasing Barry Goldwater, that confusion in the teaching of the Faith was no virtue, and clarity in the teaching of the Faith, was no vice. Yet clarity seems in short supply, and confusion is ample.

As a comment I saw on Facebook put it, ambiguity is the second name of the Vatican.

And what is Facebook’s ?

It was always a virtue. See Matthew 11 25…

I am going to be a sheep and side with the majority of the bishops present. The document is a clear delineation of the direction of the Church. For the life of me, I do not see what is ambiguous. I see one issue that that was deliberately not addressed. I see general exhortations that, while general, are not ambiguous.

Somehow I never understood that verse to be Jesus’ praise for doctrinal obscurity.

This contradiction just seems to represent political posturing on the issues covered in the synod.

Oh, I am with you, don’t worry. Christianity 101. Are the sheep gathering or scattering? And what does the answer to that question tell us?

Thanks for your post! Update (today):

The time for dialogue within Anglicanism ‘is over,’ says leading African prelate** -
The primate of the Anglican Church of Kenya, who chairs a global network of conservative Anglican leaders, said that he would accept the Archbishop of Canterbury’s invitation to meet with all 37 Anglican primates in January.

**“I believe this will be an historic meeting unlike anything that has gone before,” said Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, chairman of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON). “There is now a shared realization that the time for dialogue is over and there must be a decision that will settle the future direction of the Communion and free us from being dragged down by controversy and confusion.”

In an October 21 letter, the prelate pledged he would work “to restore the Bible and this gospel of grace to the heart of the Anglican Communion.” He also praised the Anglican Church in North America, which separated in 2009 from the Episcopal Church (USA) and the Anglican Church in Canada.**

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