Diocese of Rome Synod Address, Part 19: Take It Seriously

Let’s wrap up Pope Francis’ address to the Diocese of Rome last month. 

I came here to encourage you to take this synodal process seriously and to tell you that the Holy Spirit needs you. It is true: the Holy Spirit needs us. Listen to him by listening to each other. Leave no one behind or excluded.

Listening is emphasized yet again. If it is engaged by people, then other tasks will have the needed undergirding:

It will be good for the Diocese of Rome and for the whole Church, which is not strengthened simply by reforming structures (that is the great illusion!) or by giving instructions, offering retreats and conferences, by issuing guidelines and programs.

A good lesson for reformers of any ilk. Vatican II often failed when reform, instruction, retreats, conferences, programs, guidelines, organizations, and all had no basis in listening to people in the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, or even this century. It is really like the seed on rocky ground. Good start, but no depth or staying power.

All those things are good, but as part of something else, namely our rediscovery that we are a people meant to walk together, with one another and with all humanity. A people that, here in Rome, embraces a wide variety of communities and situations: an extraordinary treasure, in all its complexity!

A concern to widen the listening beyond the churchgoers:

However, we need to pass beyond the 3 or 4 percent that are closest to us, to broaden our range and to listen to others; at times they may insult or dismiss you, but we need to hear what they are thinking, without trying to impose our own concerns: let the Spirit speak to us.

Can we believe God will act through people we deem the equivalent of pagans, prostitutes, tax collectors, publicans, and the like? The Gospel suggests we should. We will be surprised.

Consider the great needs of the world of 2021:

In this time of pandemic, the Lord is guiding the Church’s mission as a sacrament of care. Our world has cried out and shown its vulnerability: our world needs care.

Take heart and keep going! Thank you!

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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