And the Synod comes to a conclusion, for now!
For some the final report from the Synod might seem inconclusive, but we have to remember this is only the first part of the Synod on Marriage and Family Life and we have more to come next year. The Vatican is not famous for moving quickly!
What is remarkable though is the openness with which the Synod participants were allowed to speak. In commenting on the process, Pope Francis says:
“ … I have seen and I have heard - with joy and appreciation- speeches and interventions full of faith, of pastoral and doctrinal zeal, of wisdom and frankness and of courage: and of parrhesia [ free speech, frankness].And I have felt that what was set before our eyes was the good of the church, of families and the “supreme law”, the “good of souls”.
Cardinal Nichols, in a press conference after the Synod, alluded to the modern methods used, voting by the pressing of a button, which certainly confused him and no doubt others. Voting in any form, by the Bishops of the church, is a huge step forward.
We are not looking for headlines to come out of this Synod, rather the commitment by all to a renewal of Collegiality in the Church. Maybe it is a sign for the future that 104 Synod Fathers voted to allow communion for divorced and remarried in certain circumstances, 74 against. Maybe not a large enough majority but a groundswell prepared to listen and respond to the Spirit.
Just a thought!