Whither the Synod?

Of all the absurdly stupid things I’ve ever heard, this was far and away the nuttiest, most insanely silly of them all. And yet it was often and annoyingly said to me during the dark days I spent in Vietnam, driving a handful of officers around in an old jeep because my skill set as a foot soldier was less than zero. In later years, I would tell people that if the Army hadn’t sent me there, we might actually have won the war. None of my superiors were the least bit amused by my pathetic performance; and when asked why exactly I needed to be there, they would simply say, “Son, none of us knows where he’s going, but we’re all on the way!”

Not entirely helpful, I’d say. Still, it was pretty much what you’d expect from the Military: standard-issue stupidity. However, one doesn’t look for looniness from the Church, does one? At least not every day. But with the Synod now going on in Rome, it’s become a staple diet among the organizers, who seem never to tire of repeating the same boilerplate, which is that we are to listen to diverse voices and heed the Spirit moving mysteriously through rank upon rank of all those marginalized members of the Church. In other words, while we really don’t know where any of this is going, we’re all of us on the way anyway.

Meanwhile, I have yet to meet any of these people. Who exactly are they whom we’ve so cruelly consigned to the margins of ecclesial life? Where do they hang out? Do they go to Mass, frequent the sacraments, drop a dime or two in the basket? I really have not seen anyone who fits the description. Yet, we are being told that it is all somehow our fault, their silence is the result of our noise. If we’d only shut up and listen to those left behind, stranded along the peripheries, things would dramatically improve.

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