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NCR: Instrumentum laboris: Second impressions

30. juni 2014

27. juni: Michael Sean Winters, National Catholic Reporter, skriver bl.a.:

My colleague Fr. Tom Reese, SJ, correctly notes that the document is “joyless.” And, so it is. But, unlike my colleague, I do not discern any fault in this fact. First, this is a working document, designed to compile the responses to the questionnaire sent out last autumn, and to highlight the issues to be discussed at the synod. And, this synod aims to look at the “state of the question,” and a synod the following year will discuss the Church’s response. If there is no joy coming from the text of that second synod, we will be in trouble, to be sure. Second, sometimes “joy talk” obfuscates difficult issues. I grew up in and belong to a family that was equal parts blessings and curses. Joy talk never captures, for me, the whole story.

More importantly, the most important thing about this forthcoming synod will be its methodology. Will it be, like previous synods, a series of canned speeches which, after the first five, are enormously repetitive and uninspiring? Will there be real dialogue, time to question assertions, explanations of different cultural realities faced by the particular churches throughout the world? Ours is a universal Church, and so whatever pastoral programs the synod devises must account for wildly different cultural situations. Was anyone else surprised to see polygamy get so many mentions in this document?


If the bishops catch some of Pope Francis’ Spirit-filled approach to the real-life situations families face, there will be plenty of joy in the end. Call me naïve. Call me foolish. But, however uneven this Instrumentum laboris seems, I still think that Pentecost is in the air and that the synod this document is designed to prepare will yet see a flowering of the Spirit’s gifts.  

Hele artiklen er <her>

Vatican - Synod of Bishops on the family: instrumentum laboris or working paper

- som pdf: <her>

National Catholic Reporter: Vatican questionnaire for the synod on the family

National Catholic Reporter, artikel samling: Synod on the Family