The weekend’s synod-opening speech has moved forward in the news feeds of a few interested Catholics. But next in Pope Francis’ address to the Diocese of Rome last month, the introduction to the letter to Gentile believers in Acts 15:23b-29 gets some emphasis.
“… and to us”. In this Synod, we want to get to the point where we can say, “it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us”, for, guided by the Holy Spirit, you will be in constant dialogue among yourselves, but also in dialogue with the Holy Spirit. Remember those words: “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to place on you any burden…”
As we move forward over the next few years, a good phrase to remember. The Holy Father repeats it:
“It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us”. That is how you should try to discuss things at every stage of this synodal process. Without the Holy Spirit, this will be a kind of diocesan parliament, but not a Synod. We are not holding a diocesan parliament, examining this or that question, but making a journey of listening to one another and to the Holy Spirit, discussing yes, but discussing with the Holy Spirit, which is a way of praying.
This is an extremely important point. My own archbishop has quoted Pope Francis on this for our local synod. Without the Holy Spirit, there is no synod. It’s a good reminder for the entire Church from Germany to the commentators in conservative Catholic mainstream media.
This speech is copyright © Dicastero per la Comunicazione – Libreria Editrice Vaticana