Expecting big changes at the Synod? Another cardinal says that you're "going to be disapponted."


Cardinal Napier of South Africa dismisses the notion that the Synod will satisfy the “secular media’s” prediction of big changes, especially with regards to Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics. He also reaffirms his support for traditional teaching.

It somewhat baffles me that anyone would be surprised by comments like the ones from Cardinal Napier or Cardinal Dolan that there will be no changes in Church teaching coming out of the Synod. That should go without saying. :shrug:

Great to hear, thanks for posting!

I agree with this:

"The more I follow the online discussions … the more I follow the debates and disagreements in the Church about administrative unity, or the concerns expressed about the moral or personal or administrative or leadership failings of the bishops or the clergy, the more I become convinced that whatever might be the truth of these concerns, ALL of this is simply a distraction. No, it’s more than that. It’s a justification, an excuse, for not helping each other and those outside the Church fall in love with Jesus Christ. How easy it is to talk about everything, but about Jesus hardly at all.

  • Fr. Gregory Jensen"

The Bible says much more about divorce and remarriage than the one statement Jesus made in Matthew. Since most of the doctrine of purgatory comes from St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor ch 3) why do we ignore what he said about divorce and remarriage? That’s not fair. Now I admit many protestants abuse what St. Paul said. That too is wrong. But if 2 Catholics married in their 20’s, according to the church, and 20 years later 1 spouse renounced Jesus, and left the believer with 2 kids and no support, that’s a terrible thing. Eventually the wife married a Catholic man who was a widower. Why is the Catholic wife punished for what her 1st husband did to her. I counseled this woman. She didn’t want to leave the 1st man. It almost killed her. I know, I was there. I think this is what St Paul meant when he said if the non believer wants to leave, and can’t be stopped, let him go. The believing spouse is free to remarry in this case. I hope the Synod discusses this. Many Catholics want to come back, and they will, if the Church accepts what happened through no fault of their own.

I guess I’m a bad Catholic. I wasn’t paying enough attention to know there was a synod.

At least I won’t be disappointed if there aren’t any changes. :shrug: :slight_smile:

:smiley: Don’t worry, you are in the majority. :wink: Only us Catholic forum nerds are waiting in gleeful anticipation. :nerd:

And not only for the extra-ordinary synod taking place next month, but the ordinary synod on the family taking place in October 2015. :slight_smile:

I cannot wait to read Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation that will likely follow the two synods. I expect it to be published sometime between late 2016 and mid 2017. :cool:

Good news, but I’m still praying as should all.

Theoretically that should be considered in the annulment process. But the Church certainly can’t glamorize divorce and remarriage. I received an annulment (but I haven’t remarried). I can tell you one thing; the letter informing me of the decision did not start with the words “Congratulations” or “We are happy to inform you…” It was much more of a sober nature.

I wonder if it’s possible to merge all of these similar threads into one? I realize they are all different news stories but I’m very interested and I’m afraid I’ll miss something.

You might send a request to Robert Bay. I imagine we will be seeing more and more such stories over the next month leading up to the Synod. I’m not sure from a practical standpoint when it is advantageous to merge all of one topic together or when it is best to leave each separate article to its own thread. But it doesn’t hurt to make the suggestion.

If most cardinals are against what Kaspar is proposing, then why don’t they attempt to forestall or cancel the upcoming synod outright?!

I believe that Paul 6 convened a synod to have contraception discussed. Although the liberal agenda wasn’t adopted back then (with regard to contraception), the fact that the issue was being discussed back then sowed doubts in the minds of catholics. The same parallels can be drawn with this upcoming synod.

Excellent point.

Because, theoretically at least, the Synod is supposed to be about “the Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization", not about “giving communion to the divorced/remarried”.

The communion issue has taken over all the discussion because it’s so controversial

Unfortunately, I agree with you on the parallels between this synod and contraception one under Paul VI, I think the same kind of damage is being done now as was done then :frowning:

Synods are important in the life of the Church. Pope Francis has said more than once that he would like to see synods play a greater role in Church governance, as was the case in the ancient and medieval Church (and still is in both the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches). The Holy Spirit speaks to the Church through the Pope and bishops. There is a lot more on the agenda than just “communion for the divorced and remarried”. The very important issue of the family and the New Evangelization are to be discussed from various angles.

The contraception issue was discussed by a committee appointed by Pope Paul, not by a Synod. This is a very different situation. A committee is just a committee. Synods are an ancient tradition and were historically seen as instruments of the Holy Spirit working through the Church…bishops who participate in synods are still called “Synod Fathers” to reflect the important spiritual nature of these assemblies of the successors of the apostles. Ecumenical Councils, such as Vatican II, are basically universal synods of all the bishops of the world.

I don’t understand the practical difference between a “synod” and an ecumenical council. What kind of synod is it? A Roman synod? No. A regular old diocesan synod? No, not that. An ecumenical council? Clearly not. What is this thing where we have a smattering of bishops? I don’t understand where these synods fit.

If synods become some sort of never-ending thing in the future, then won’t that just displace ecumenical councils?

I, too, am extremely confused about the levels of authority, and once upon a time I thought I understood the doctrine of infallibility. Some of the posts that have linked to documents have done anything but clarify these questions. I wish there could be a Q & A thread, moderated by a canon lawyer and a good place to start might be with LG #25.

Why on earth would they cancel the Synod? Contrary to media reports, this Synod was not called to settle this one issue of Communion for the divorced and remarried. Honestly, I doubt they will spend much time on that particular issue if they even talk about it at all.

The Synod was called because our world has an increasingly skewed view of the family and it needs to be addressed. That need doesn’t disappear simply because this whole Communion/divorce thing is not going to change.

Actually, the Vatican website’s profile on the Synod of Bishops lays everything out pretty well. Since Vatican II, there have been 13 Ordinary Synods and the upcoming synod will be the 3rd Extraordinary Synod. Basically, the extraordinary ones are called in matters of special urgency and therefore the process moves much faster.

My basic takeaway is that the synods are how the Church is currently living out the collegiality of bishops spoken of in Vatican II. Their existence is one of the main reasons I don’t think we will be seeing a Vatican III any time soon. Any issues that come up tend to be addressed by these synods.

Thinking in terms of centuries rather than decades, it’s hard to speculate as to what this means going forward. I don’t think they signify that ecumenical councils will be displaced. But considering the Church can and has gone centuries between ecumenical councils, it seems wise to have an apparatus in place for the bishops to meet about things that are important, but don’t require a full ecumenical council.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.