“Astonishment, Worship and Synod”



Column editor

Reflections by the Vatican News Editor-in-Chief on the Pope’s words from a recent sermon.

“If there is no amazement and worship, then there will be no path leading to the Lord. There will be no synod, nothing will be … “. This phrase, added impromptu during the sermon at the Mass of the feast of Corpus Domini, explains to us how the Pope perceives the process that began before the future Synod, and the synodal paths that have already begun. It also points to the source of any genuine church process, because, as Francis said in the same sermon, “you have to leave the little room of our ʺyaʺ and enter into a large space of wonder and worship. And we really miss this! This is lacking in many of our processes – at meetings, gatherings, in joint pastoral reflections. “

In a post in La Civilta’Cattolica last September, Pope Francis clarifies his judgment as a result of a long-standing controversy about “tried and tested husbands” following the proposal to ordain married men, which was put forward at the Synod on the Amazon: “There was a very deep, with good reason – but without any discernment that is different from good and justified consensus or from reaching a relative majority. We must understand that the Synod is more than a parliament; and in this particular case, such a dynamic could not be avoided. There was a plentiful, productive and even necessary parliament on this issue, but nothing more. “

If there is no amazement (which arises by grace and, of course, not by compulsion), if there is no worship (which is also a consequence of it and also does not come by itself), then the Church becomes secularized and eventually absorbs political and ideological categories … Then it is no longer the One without Whom we can do anything, but strategies, tactics, communication marketing fireworks, pressure groups and pools with their programs, perhaps even opposing, but united by a lack of unity, are acting in it. There is a distortion, sometimes very serious, of some other “wounds” and sins, devastation and internal hardening of the processes of church life, when the first place is placed not on obedience to the Holy Spirit, but on our projects, the effectiveness of structures and plans for reform. It is against this risk that Peter’s Successor has long warned, as he did recently, in his sermon at Pentecost, recalling that “The Paraclete affirms the primacy of the congregation. The Spirit prefers to act and bring novelty in the congregation, in the community … Today, if we listen to the Spirit, we will not get hung up on conservatives and progressives, on traditionalists and innovators, on the right and the left: if this were a criterion, then the Church has forgotten about the Holy Spirit. Paraclite encourages unity, harmony, harmony of different things. He encourages us to consider ourselves part of one body, brothers and sisters among ourselves. Let’s strive to be one! The enemy wants diversity to become opposition, and therefore turns it into ideology. “

If there is no amazement and worship, if there is no obedience to the Spirit and the primacy of the community, there will be no synod, as the Bishop of Rome said last Sunday: the most that can be is parliament.

Andrea Tornelli

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