VATICAN - Pope to Synod on the Family: God’s dream always clashes with the hypocrisy of some of his servants [AN]

At the opening Mass of the Synod on “The pastoral challenge of the family in the context of evangelization,” Pope Francis warns against greed and arrogance, by placing " intolerable burdens on the shoulders of others " and considering “the faith of the Church” as “property.” Let ourselves be guided by the Holy Spirit not to “thwart” God’s drean. Present the 253 members of the synod, including 18 members from Asia and 14 married couples from all over the world.


Oh, I do hope this isn’t the beginning of the end…

I rather like that my church stands up to the “anything goes” attitude of modern times.
I agree that there are universal truths, and that often, not always, but often, the good of the many trumps the good of the one.

I hope the media hope was just hype.

I am with you. And I don’t think things look too good. :o I am afraid to say more. We’ll see where I fit in this new “openness.” :rolleyes:

I don’t know, it’s sounding pretty obvious to me where the Pope is on some of the issues being discussed. I mean he really couldn’t drop a bigger hint if he tried.

Personally, I see Chapter 14, Gospel of John, in the leadership of Pope Francis.

I hope that people will read post 1 link to the very bottom. Here we find the true spirit of our Catholic Church.

“We too can be tempted to “take over” the vineyard, because of that greed which is always present in us human beings. God’s dream always clashes with the hypocrisy of some of his servants. We can “thwart” God’s dream if we fail to let ourselves be guided by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit gives us that wisdom which surpasses knowledge, and enables us to work generously with authentic freedom and humble creativity”.

“My brothers, - he concluded - to do a good job of nurturing and tending the vineyard, our hearts and our minds must be kept in Jesus Christ, as Saint Paul says, by “the peace of God which passes all understanding” (Phil 4:7). In this way our thoughts and plans will correspond to God’s dream: to form a holy people who are his own and produce the fruits of the kingdom of God (cf. Mt21:43)”.

My understanding is that this synod is to discus better methods to pastor to the faithful. It isn’t setting dogma. Also there are no decisions to be made right way even on method. They will have discussions for 2 weeks, then adjourn for a year to bring ideas back home to discuss. Then they will meet again in a year to make any recommendations.

Yes, after reading the various releases today, I couldn’t agree with you more.

Really? I’m surprised. I’ve thought everything so far has been pretty neutral and vague (and I’m usually pretty pessimistic about this kind of thing).

Wow. And you read the Pope’s comments? Placing intolerable burdens on people’s shoulders, etc. My take is that he has dropped his stance of neutrality and jumped right into the exchange. I could be wrong, but I don’t think so. I know we should be very, very cautious of secular media, but this is pretty responsible secular media:

The Pope has indicated on several occasions that he favours a more “merciful” approach to the issue and has thrown his moral support behind a German cardinal, Walter Kasper, who has argued that the Church should modify its rules.

Catholics who divorce in a civil court and remarry are currently prohibited from taking Communion because in the eyes of the Church their first marriages are still valid and so they are in effect committing adultery with their new partners.

Many Catholics regard that as unnecessarily mean-spirited and exclusive, pointing out that even murderers or criminals who repent are allowed to receive the Sacrament.

Change is being pushed for by a group of reform-minded cardinals, including Lorenzo Baldisseri, the head of the synod of bishops, Dionigi Tettamanzi, the emeritus archbishop of Milan and Luis Tagle, a cardinal from the Philippines who had been tipped as the first Asian Pope after the resignation of Benedict XVI in February last year.

But they are opposed by powerful conservative currents within the Church, led by cardinals such as Gerhard Mueller, the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, George Pell, an Australian who heads a Vatican economic committee and Raymond Leo Burke, an arch-conservative from the United States.

Each side has set out its position in a series of recent addresses, treatises and books, preparing the way for what could be an ill-tempered debate.

The Church leaders will discuss the results of a questionnaire sent out to dioceses around the world on the orders of Pope Francis, which showed that millions of Catholics around the world ignore the Church’s teachings on issues such as sex before marriage and birth control.

“Francis has made a bold move in pushing for this study of family issues,” said Georg Sporschill, a Catholic priest and author from Austria. “The Church must win back credibility among ordinary people, above all on subjects such as sexuality and the family,” he told La Repubblica newspaper.

The Church desperately needed to find a “new response” to the many remarried divorcees who feel rejected because of being banned from receiving the Sacrament.

Mariano Zagone, 51, from Palermo in Sicily, divorced in a civil court and remarried 17 years ago and has not been allowed to take Communion since – a cause of “great pain”.

“I find it very painful that I’ve been excluded from the Sacrament. But thanks to Pope Francis, something extraordinary is now happening – signs of an opening are giving hope to all believers who are in the same position as me.”

But moves towards relaxing Catholic teaching will be fiercely resisted by many conservatives.

The Vatican moves at a ponderous pace at the best of times and no drastic changes – or even moderate ones – are expected to be announced at this synod.

Discussions will continue next autumn at a similar assembly and any relaxation of Church teaching may not be known until 2016.

One possible move would be for the Pope to make it easier for Catholics to obtain divorces by appointing more canon lawyers and speeding up what is currently a time-consuming and costly process.

But the Pope seems determined to at least force open debate on issues that many bishops would rather keep under wraps.

In his 18 months as pontiff, he has on occasion backed up his calls for greater inclusiveness with concrete action.

At a mass wedding in St Peter’s last month, he married 20 Italian couples, some of whom had been “living in sin” together and others who had grown-up children from previous relationships.

On Saturday night, on the eve of the synod, he said he hoped it would lead to a “renewal of the Church”.

It behooves us to be lucid about our position, even if it’s bad news, imho. :slight_smile: I am pretty open about being a “conservative” Catholic and, up to now, I think there has been ambiguity about where Pope Francis stands on a lot of issues. But for me, the fact that he wants to see reform is really clear now.

All that said, I would love it if you are right.

Well, I certainly might be wrong, but the homilies of the last two days sounded to me like they basically just repeated things he’s said many times before (he wants open and fraternal dialogue, listening in order to get the smell of the sheep, etc).

Catholic media doesn’t seem to be making a big deal of it :shrug:

Unless maybe we’re kind of talking about two different things. It’s obvious he wants “reform” in some sense, but I’m thinking more specifically about the Kasper proposal.

There was this from the other day. He’s making a reference to Judaisim but I think it’s clear that it’s also refering to the overly legalistic way some treat the Gospel. Personlly I find it all very exciting and am very hopefull. I wish the full text was available.

Those who feel they are the chosen ones show a reluctance to be saved. "It is the ruling class that closes the doors to the way in which God wants to save us.” “The people of faith, however, understand and “accept” the salvation brought by Jesus. Their leaders, on the other hand, reduce salvation to the fulfilment of the 613 commandments they have created through their intellectual and theological fervour.” “They do not believe in mercy and forgiveness, they believe in the sacrifice.” "They believe in everything being settled, well organized, clear cut. This is the drama of resistance to salvation. “This drama exists within each and every one of us,” the Pope said.

What are these “613 commandments they have created through their intellectual and theological fervour?”

It’s a reference to Jewish law. I had to google it ( ).

Since he is specifically referring to Christians in that sentence my assumption is he is making an analogy between the Pharisees and our current leaders in the Church. I get the feeling that Pope Francis isn’t a fan of legalism.

I take it he isnt a fan of legalism either. I also understood that statement as comparing our theologians in the Catholic Church to the Pharisees, since he says that “they have created in their intellectual and theological fervour.” In other words, man-made rules and interpretations that have come as a result of that “intellectual and theological fervour”. But, what just are these man-made rules? Contraception? Masturbation? All of the things that theologians have surmised through their knowledge of natural law? Im a little confused by his statement.

Agreed. You don’t have to be a theologian to get the drift of these statements. I suspect I am on the opposite side of this from you, but we definitely agree on that. I am one of those who wants the real diagnosis, not the kind, gentler version. Gives you more time to react, effectively. :rolleyes:

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