A Self-Destructive Synod

The General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops issued the Working Document (WD) for the Continental Stage of the Synod for a Synodal Church last week. It unapologetically calls into question various Catholic doctrines under the guise of listening to the Holy Spirit who, remarkably, is somehow speaking through the complaints and criticisms of those who reject what the Church teaches and has always taught.

Contributions from around the world that contradict Catholic doctrine are cited or summarized with approval because “they express in a particularly powerful, beautiful or precise way sentiments expressed more generally in many reports.” (¶6) Those sentiments enjoy the presumption of Spirit-inspired truth while doctrines cause alienation and sorrow.

Remarks from an American parish group are emblematic: “The vision of a Church capable of radical inclusion, shared belonging, and deep hospitality according to the teachings of Jesus is at the heart of the synodal process: ‘Instead of behaving like gatekeepers trying to exclude others from the table, we need to do more to make sure that people know that everyone can find a place and a home here.’” (¶31) The WD further explains that “[t]he synodal experience can be read as a path of recognition for those who do not feel sufficiently recognized in the Church.” (¶32)

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