Next in Pope Francis’ address to the Diocese of Rome, a reference, I assume, to the multivalent observation of the Church as both teacher and school. The methodology of this school is not lecture, a one-sided monologue, but instead a conversation. Maybe something more than what we think of as the socratic method.
Why do I say these things? Because in the synodal process, our listening must take into account the sensus fidei, but it must not neglect all those “intuitions” found where we would least expect them, “freewheeling”, but no less important for that reason. The Holy Spirit in his freedom knows no boundaries or tests of admission.
An important consideration for me in my role in a parish, and really for anyone who sees themselves as a parish person:
If the parish is to be a home to everyone in the neighborhood, and not a kind of exclusive club, please, let’s keep the doors and windows open. Don’t limit yourself to those who come to church or think as you do – they may be no more than 3, 4 or 5 percent. Let everyone come in… Go out and meet them, let them question you, let their questions become your questions. Journey together: the Spirit will lead you; trust in the Spirit. Do not be afraid to engage in dialogue and even to be taken aback by what you hear, for this is the dialogue of salvation.
These 95, 96, 97 percent: they will speak of things that test our patience and may even shock us. We can continue to listen.
This speech is copyright © Dicastero per la Comunicazione – Libreria Editrice Vaticana