Synod on the Family 28: Accompaniment With Mercy

window from insideRead the full synod document here. But with this paragraph, we come to the end of Part II, “Looking at Christ: The Gospel of the Family.”

This paragraph offers a good helping of hope. There’s a recognition that people who have wandered off from church practice are not cast out, but still with us, and in many cases they remain among us.

The images of light are apt. Do we have something to show people, or not? Telling the truth in love implies that we, in turn, are willing to listen to the truth. In love. And are we? Do we have that attitude they goes beyond merely truth-telling? To truth-listening?

Not the final qualities listed: attraction, union, transformation, and elevation. Certainly we all can concede, even bishops among us, that we are all in need of such graces. We do not produce them on our own merit or good behavior.

28. In accordance with Christ’s mercy, the Church must accompany with attention and care the weakest of her children, who show signs of a wounded and lost love, by restoring in them hope and confidence, like the beacon of a lighthouse in a port or a torch carried among the people to enlighten those who have lost their way or who are in the midst of a storm. Conscious that the most merciful thing is to tell the truth in love, we go beyond compassion. Merciful love, as it attracts and unites, transforms and elevates. It is an invitation to conversion. We understand the Lord’s attitude in the same way; he does not condemn the adulterous woman, but asks her to sin no more (Jn 8: 1-11).

And so 152 bishops return to the theme of mercy as evidenced in the witness of Christ. 27 opposed, 4 did not vote.


About catholicsensibility

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