The Jan Brady of Luke 15

jan bradyFoment, perhaps torment, about the synod continues today. One place online quoted someone who said that three-fourths of the bishops opposed the mid-meeting document that got people into an eruption. Of course, the usual blame was laid at the feet of Cardinal Kasper, and the secular media too.

Seems I recall a few Catholic journalists jumping in on the “earthquake” of mercy, too. I bet a few more people might darken the door of a church this weekend than they would if the “pastoral” synod got all dark and doctrinal.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI feel like a middle child in the Church these days. Unlike the SSPX, I didn’t go into schism when things didn’t go my way for a third-of-a-century. I didn’t bail when HV came out. I’m not so sure I like the attitude of the elder sibling. I’d like to tell him to sit down, shut the h*** up and enjoy the party. This jack*** doesn’t speak for me, Dad. But Jesus never elaborated that far in his parable.

Maybe I don’t approve of everything the younger sibling did with the inheritance. Maybe I’ll give the dunderhead a kick under the table. But I’m willing to stand with Jesus and give the dude a second chance.

I think there’s a missed opportunity here for the elders of our generation. This is what I think has gotten them trussed up:

  • Clearly, nobody is going to get silenced for advocating mercy. Bishops are freely talking and even writing things down. And the Temple Police, not to mention the Apostolic Signatura, are powerless. Cheers to that!
  • We are not going to get airy-fairy theology from a meeting that is taking a serious look for people on the highways and byways of the world.
  • I think we know why the elder brother never got a calf, really: he has few enough friends. Mark Shea mentioned something this week about traditionalist howlers lacking the social graces or something.
  • I think deep down a few people are getting nailed on the 99 sheep versus the one. Honestly, it seems a lot more like one faithful sheep and 99 lost these days. I miss my friends from the 70’s and 80’s. Even the conservative ones who drifted away.

That’s not to say I don’t have a few bones to pick with the Holy Father. If this synod is really going to have staying power, he’s going to need to summon a shipload of lay people to Rome next October. Too many bishops compared to the rest of the world. I like that a few cardinals are speaking up for mercy and pastoral care. But there are other witnesses that can be heard–including conservative families who have said they need more support. I want to hear more of that from my sisters and brothers in the laity. When Jesus founded synods there was nothing about bishops and clergy being the only ones in the discernment mix.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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