Friday, 11 September 2015

Will this be a Synod at all?

So, there is to be no general discussion at the October 2015 Synod. I thought general discussion by those attending was an inherent part of a Synod. Will this in fact be a Synod at all?

The small discussion groups will in effect be mini-synods. There will be no mid-proceedings report following these group discussions, and no subsequent general discussion. There will simply be a final address by Pope Francis. He alone will have received the results of the mini-synods. None of the bishops attending will know the outcome of any group’s discussion except that of his own, apart from what he can glean in personal conversations. None of them will know how accurately the Pope’s address represents the group discussions.

The question is: will fists be thumped onto desks in sufficient numbers, or with sufficient force, to prompt a hasty change of plan and the concession of a general discussion? In such an event the bishops will surely have to be given all the group reports, as raw data, and will each have to be granted the time to wade through them. Considering the reception of the mid-term report at the 2014 Synod, raw data would inspire more confidence. But it all depends on those fists on desks.

Fr Z
Monday Vatican

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