In his closing address to the 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Pope Francis asked, "What will it mean for the Church to conclude this Synod devoted to the …
The Synod experience also made us better realize that the true defenders of doctrine are not those who uphold its letter, but its spirit; not ideas but people; not formulae but the gratuitousness of God’s love and forgiveness. This is in no way to detract from the importance of formulae, laws and divine commandments, but rather to exalt the greatness of the true God, who does not treat us according to our merits or even according to our works but solely according to the boundless generosity of his Mercy -
These expressions by Pope Francis were everything that I anticipated from him in my spirit during the last year, as I offered much prayer for him. It was a blessing to understand that my heart was sensing his openness to mercy and I look forward to an official document from him to express it more formally for posterity.
What I’m very heartened by is the way that pope francis has ‘dawned’ on the bishops and cardinals over the course of the synod year. There’s very little of the anxious fretting that marked the interviews last year. There will always be those who aren’t able to bring themselves to trust the ‘God of surprises’ tthrough the work of the church (perhaps like the Fr Feeneys) but the momentum for renewal is achieved.
It was about trying to open up broader horizons, rising above conspiracy theories and blinkered viewpoints, so as to defend and spread the freedom of the children of God, and to transmit the beauty of Christian Newness, at times encrusted in a language which is archaic or simply incomprehensible.
This makes no sense whatsoever. I’d be interested in hearing opinions as to what he meant by this language. And also the bolded part in this following passage:
The Synod experience also made us better realize that the true defenders of doctrine are not those who uphold its letter, but its spirit; not ideas but people; not formulae but the gratuitousness of God’s love and forgiveness. This is in no way to detract from the importance of formulae, laws and divine commandments, but rather to exalt the greatness of the true God, **who does not treat us according to our merits or even according to our works but solely according to the boundless generosity of his Mercy **(cf. Rom 3:21-30; Ps 129; Lk 11:37-54). It does have to do with overcoming the recurring temptations of the elder brother (cf. Lk 15:25-32) and the jealous laborers.
Words have specific connotations to those reading them, so if they were written in another era or culture than our own, they can be misunderstood. Francis seeks to bridge the gap towards making language easily accessible and understood by all the faithful.
As for the second passage that you questioned, the reporter skipped over a lot of the speech. Maybe these omitted paragraphs will help clarify it for you.
The Church’s first duty is not to hand down condemnations or anathemas, but to proclaim God’s mercy, to call to conversion, and to lead all men and women to salvation in the Lord. (The essence of the gospel in a nutshell, yes?)
Saint John Paul II also stated that: “the Church lives an authentic life when she professes and proclaims mercy… and when she brings people close to the sources of the Savior’s mercy, of which she is the trustee and dispenser”.
Benedict XVI, too, said: "Mercy is indeed the central nucleus of the Gospel message; it is the very name of God… May all that the Church says and does manifest the mercy God feels for mankind. When the Church has to recall an unrecognized truth, or a betrayed good, she always does so impelled by merciful love, so that men may have life and have it abundantly.
Francis speaks almost continuously of mercy. Maybe what you are asking is what does that mean and entail for all of us personally? That would probably need a separate thread. A scripture verse comes to mind, "A bruised reed He shall he not break, and the smoldering wick He shall not extinguish … He shall bring forth judgment unto truth.
Good news! Pope Francis will write an apostolic exhortation as a follow up to the Synod on the Family and “it should not take too long [to arrive],” the Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, told the Italian news agency ANSA. He said the papal document “will be based on the conclusions of the synod, as is the tradition.”
Pope Francis is talking about families from the point of view that many are wounded. This whole piece makes sense when you consider that families are wounded.
He is focusing the church’s response to be mercy rather than a moral holier-than-though response. That is doing Jesus’ work. To heal the sick and the sinners and the wounded.