Diocese of Rome Synod Address, Part 15, Including “Problem People”

We like to avoid difficult people, right? We run away, hide, don’t return phone calls, and steer them to the next parish down the road. Pope Francis, in his address to the Diocese of Rome for the universal synod, suggests we squelch those practices. Aw shucks!

Yes, dear friends. It is not me who is saying this, but the Lord. They too are part of the Church, and you will not properly celebrate the Synod unless you somehow make them part of it (in a way to be determined), or spend time with them, not only listening to what they have to say, but also feeling what they feel, listening to them even if they may insult you. The Synod is for everyone, and it is meant to include everyone. The Synod is also about discussing our problems, the problems I have as your Bishop, the problems that the auxiliary Bishops have, the problems that priests and laity have, the problems that groups and associations have. So many problems! Yet unless we include the “problem people” of society, those left out, we will never be able to deal with our own problems. This is important: that we let our own problems come out in the dialogue, without trying to hide them or justify them. Do not be afraid!

Don’t be afraid. Ne timeas. A greeting often used by angels to mortals when God’s message is coming through especially loudly and clearly. Some examples of “problem people” might include the church and/or rectory’s neighbors, busybodies and gossips, teens and young adults, especially the ones who dress differently and have different standards. Surely people of a different political bent. Any other problem people in your life you might care to mention?

This speech is copyright © Dicastero per la Comunicazione – Libreria Editrice Vaticana

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in 2021 Pope Francis Synod Address, synodality and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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