Synod on the Family 32: Missionary Conversion

window from insideRead the full synod document here. What do the bishops mean by missionary conversion? Aren’t we all already converted to Christ?

32. Consequently, this work calls for missionary conversion by everyone in the Church, that is, not stopping at proclaiming a message which is perceived to be merely theoretical, with no connection to people’s real problems. We must continually bear in mind that the crisis of faith has led to a crisis in marriage and the family and, consequently, the transmission of faith itself from parents to children has often been interrupted. If we confront the situation with a strong faith, the imposition of certain cultural perspectives which weaken the family is of no importance.

This brief section elaborates a bit on why I think apologetics is mostly a failed project. Responding to non-Catholics objecting to Catholicism is about the concerns of the Catholic: how can I defend my faith and myself?

The synod bishops seem to be saying that as people of faith, as missionary disciples, we can and should be responding to the life concerns of others. This would certainly include those reared in the faith, but perhaps who have never been given adult tools to deal with the world’s traumas and aggression.

It is interesting that 176 bishops agree with the notion that the crisis of marriage is rooted in a crisis of faith. It is rather optimistic of the prelates to suggest that when faith is strong, what the culture may say or do is irrelevant. That has not been the message I’ve heard in some quarters. But it is heartening to see the blame game minimized. Except for the five bishops who disapproved of this paragraph.

About catholicsensibility

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