Reflections on Synod-2018

Nov 9, 2018 by

by George Weigel, First Things:

his article by EPPC Distinguished Senior Fellow George Weigel appeared in LETTERS FROM THE SYNOD-2018, #19, on October 29, 2018, which was published on the Web sites of First Things, The Catholic Herald (London) and The Catholic Weekly (Sydney).

The fifteenth ordinary general assembly of the Synod of Bishops, convened by Pope Francis to reflect on “Youth, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment,” is now history—unless you subscribe to an extreme notion of “synodality,” advanced by some bishops last week, which hints at an ongoing synodal process that will presumably include, in due course, the Parousia, the Last Judgment, and the Wedding Feast of the Lamb.

Some good things happened in Rome this past month. Catholics from all over the world got to know each other’s stories and experiences, which helps shake all of us out of our comfort zones. Catholicism today is genuinely “catholic” in the sense of “universal” or “global,” and to live that, not just think or read about it, is a bracing and revivifying experience of solidarity. It can also be sobering, as when you’re told by an impressive African bishop that one of his seminarians was recently murdered and that he’s had to close several parishes because of the threat of massacres when large groups gather in his strife-torn country, Cameroon. Synods are also opportunities for catching up with friends in the great Catholic family. There was even some serious reflection on what makes for effective evangelization of young adults: in the Synod’s language-based discussion groups, in some eloquent interventions in the synodal general congregations, and in the Synod’s “Off Broadway” venues, including restaurants, coffee bars, and in more than one wonderful Roman gelateria. (I think it a safe bet that no one loses weight at a Synod, despite a lot of walking around.)

These affairs always take time to digest, so what follows is a mosaic of impressions that I hope will give readers of these LETTERS a little more sense of what happened during Synod-2018 and what it might portend for the Church’s immediate future.

Read here

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