Looking to the 2015 Synod

This is a good perspective on what we need to be looking to do in the year ahead and until the Ordinary Synod in 2015.  I urge everyone to work with your local parish and diocese to see that your voice is heard as regards the issues that are on the final Synod document.  I have not seen it posted in English on the Vatican website but rest assured as soon as I do see it available on the internet, I will post a link to it on this site….Reyanna

By Gerard  O’Connel, November 3, 2014, Vatican Dispatch, American Magazine On-line

The Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family, which closed on Oct. 19, approved a final report that, with the pope’s endorsement, will soon be sent to the 114 Catholic bishops’ conferences worldwide and to the patriarchates and major archbishops of the Eastern Catholic churches.

The sending of that text from the secretariat of the synod to the local churches marks the opening of a most important phase in the new synodal process established by Pope Francis in 2013. The report, which will be accompanied by a questionnaire, is meant to serve as a working document for the discussion that is to take place in the local churches over the next year. (To continue reading, click here.)

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8 Responses to Looking to the 2015 Synod

  1. Might want to check with local Bishop first. Awful to find out a year from now it was a waste of energy. Witness Missoula experience.

    • Reyanna Rice says:

      I think I would confine myself to what you really know about a situation before commenting on it. I was present at the “Missoula experience” as you refer to it as one of the presenters. It actually turned out to be a good experience for all of us who put the work into setting up this listening session with Bishop Thomas and he admitted, that even though there wasn’t much he could do about at that time, (May of 2012, pre Francis as it was), he thanked us for speaking up front with him and “telling him things a bishop really does not want to hear but doing so very graciously”, his words not mine. Did we accomplish something? Yes, I think we did. He did really and attentively listen to us and did so respectfully, he came to an understanding that we were not just a bunch of uniformed and whining radicals, and he respected us for our efforts at working for change in a balanced way and for our loyalty to the church. Not many bishops, in fact hardly any at all, have taken the time to listen to groups of lay people who are asking hard questions. Has he changed how he does things? Maybe not quite yet, but from a recent article he has been quoted as saying things that lead me to believe he has found a bit of mojo and has begun to speak up. Did we have anything to do with it? Who knows how the Holy Spirit works to empower someone…..

  2. Pulling together to try and reform Church was and is a good experience for those involved. I recall my nine cousins in Texas regularly gathering to be with their dying Mother my Aunt. It was a good experience for all of them which afterwards they missed.
    My Aunt died anyway.
    Love, John

    • Reyanna Rice says:

      You say that “It was a good experience” in regard to your cousins gathering regularly to be with their dying mother. I would presume that as such it had some effect on them, maybe even a change of heart as such experiences often do cause. In pulling together to try and reform the Church, I can say from my own experience that it is a good experience for those of us involved in the reforming work. I can say for certain it does effect a change of heart. Because of that and because we are all the Church, and Papa Francesco reminds us of that frequently, reform in the Church is occurring, one heart at a time. You say your aunt died anyway implying that the Church will die anyway. Don’t think so. I can say for certain after having traveled to Rome and seen the thousands and thousands of people who come there and come there not just for the spectacle but who are show quite clearly they are fully committed to the Church, that it is not dying. Papa Francesco is doing his best to effect “a bit of death” in the curia in his reforms of the institutional Church. But death of the entire Church? You would have to stamp it out in the heart of every last single believer. Don’t think that will happen any time soon.

      • Dying in its present form, yes. Look at data re church closings, numbers of priests, regular attendance at liturgy, age of church laity, etc., etc., etc.
        Let’s Hospice our church, helping all those who grieve it’s demise, being totally Honest about its death, while helping a Holy Spirit Church to Emerge.
        Isn’t there something in Scripture about death of seed needed for new growth/life.
        Treat it with dignity but don’t keep trying to keep it alive artificially with life support.

        • Reyanna Rice says:

          Yes there is data that seems to indicate that the Church, as we know it, is dying. But because the Church as we know it is dying does not mean that it does not rise in a new form. I think this is what Papa Francesco is trying his best to effect. I see reforming efforts as flying by the seat of our pants and allowing the Holy Spirit to propel us forward. Sure, we could hospice the Church, and sit around saying “Oh, poor thing”. That is one choice and I applaud your need to do that and grieve. But I choose another route. I like to think of my efforts as sowing those seeds you talk about. Will I see all the seeds I and other reformers planting come to fruition? Probably not but that does not stop me from doing sowing them. I also don’t see the Church as in need of hospice as you see it. I see a lot of dead and gangrenous stuff in it but before we say it is dying maybe we need to debride the necrotic material with some good surgery. Let’s work with this surgeon pope as he goes about his task of scraping out the dead tissue. I see too much in the Church that is lively and, yes, healthy but also see a lot of stuff that makes me want to scream at times. Not finding screaming that useful for my vocal cords, I choose to sing instead, which is why I went to Rome and did so in St Peter’s Piazza recently, not to the success I wanted to see, but sing we did and stopped a lot of people in their tracks.

  3. Rick Aldred says:

    To me, the continued existence of the church itself – either as the Roman Catholic expression, or other Protestant expressions of it – is one of the more powerful arguments for the existence of God. That this deeply flawed, yet at times brilliant institution continues to exist and command our attention points us to a reality that lies beyond our perceptual capabilities.

    As part of Eleanore’s Project, I deal with another aspect of the church that is often overlooked in our discussions. In Lima Peru, in a very poor barrio named Canto Grande there exists a parish Our Lord of Hope. It was founded just a few years ago by Holy Cross fathers. It provides the primary medical care to the 250,000 parishioners of this poverty stricken area. Their medical outreach is called “Yancana Huasy” a Quechua phrase that means “House of Work”. They provide 17 different workshops for people with developmental disabilities, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, a biomechanical workshop, a full service medical clinic, a wheelchair clinic, and sponsor outreach into other areas of Peru. Their parish has a large number of house churches whose leaders meet weekly at the parish center for support and learning. And for one week every year, their sacred space hosts Eleanore’s Project demonstration wheelchair clinics which provide the best practice wheelchair delivery services for impoverished children and adults. They save their hardest cases for us. We work together with their therapists, social workers and other staff to meet the needs presented. Our wheelchairs get into Peru duty free through the work and cooperation of Caritas del Peru, an agency like Catholic Social Services here in the US. Graduate students in Occupational Therapy from the University of Saint Catherine in St Paul Minnesota – a Catholic university – accompany us and learn from the experienced therapists and technicians on our team. It is hard to imagine Eleanore’s Project existing and thriving without the cooperation and facilities of the Catholic church.

    So does the Church need to change? Yes, emphatically yes it does. Is it in the death throes? Absolutely not. We need to remember that the Church is much larger than the part of it that we see and interact with daily.

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