Amoris Laetitia 2: The Synod Process

amoris laetitia memeBe sure to read the actual document Amoris Laetitia on the Vatican site. Don’t just take our word for it here. Seven paragraphs set the tone for what follows in the subsequent nine chapters. So this week, we’ll get a brief glimpse into Pope Francis’s notions for the synod gatherings last Fall and the year prior in 2014.

Lots of folks are eager to remind us that Catholic doctrine doesn’t change. But the process within the discussions of that doctrine sure have taken a turn as we read here:

2. The Synod process allowed for an examination of the situation of families in today’s world, and thus for a broader vision and a renewed awareness of the importance of marriage and the family. The complexity of the issues that arose revealed the need for continued open discussion of a number of doctrinal, moral, spiritual, and pastoral questions.

One blogger assessed AL as “97% Jesuit gobbledygook.” That struck me as wishful thinking, but I do detect two strains in the Holy Father’s methodology with our synod. Ignatian discernment certainly invites people to gaze into situations before taking action. I think the Latin American base communities are known for the meme, “see-judge-act,” which certainly seems to be part of the synod approach under this pope.

Pope Francis cites a trust in the Magisterium, including theologians:

The thinking of pastors and theologians, if faithful to the Church, honest, realistic and creative, will help us to achieve greater clarity.

And a swipe, if you will, at pundits on the extremes:

The debates carried on in the media, in certain publications and even among the Church’s ministers, range from an immoderate desire for total change without sufficient refection or grounding, to an attitude that would solve everything by applying general rules or deriving undue conclusions from particular theological considerations.

My takeaway on this is the Pope Francis has once again stated his impatience with those who would discount that faith intersects with real human lives. People are not edified as slaves either to rules or to the total discard of law.

What do you think of this?

About catholicsensibility

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