Pope Frank, Open Debate at the Synod

By The Editors, October 28, 2014, Commonweal Magazine On-Line

“Speak frankly,” Pope Francis said at the opening of this month’s Extraordinary Synod on the Family. “Let no one say, ‘I can’t say this. They’ll think such-and-such about me.’” That isn’t how synods used to be. Under past popes, the Vatican tightly controlled the agenda. Bishops were warned not to bring up certain issues, such as married priests and contraception. But Francis wanted something different this time. He encouraged participants—mostly bishops, but also select priests and laypeople—not to fear openly disagreeing with one another, or with him. If nothing else new comes out of what will be a yearlong synodal process, that change alone constitutes a major accomplishment. (To continue reading, click here.)

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