Pope Francis’s extraordinary Synod of Bishops, consisting of two meetings last October and the concluding session next October, is dealing with “synodality.”
What? The media and Catholic activists are all energized about such topics as letting women be deacons, or married men be priests, or softened LGBTQ+ policies, or allowing Communion for divorced members who remarry, or for Protestants.
Just possibly something on those might occur next year. But for certain the delegates will try to fill out that mysterious, Zen-like “synodality” term — which means some sort of organizational revamp so male and female lay parishioners are more closely engaged in the life of their church. Some call the whole puzzle Vatican III Lite.
In the flow of comment after the recent first session, Claire Giangravè, Religion News Service’s Vatican correspondent, filed a particularly savvy article on realistic changes required for any substantive doctrinal shifts in that direction. Not a simple process because, as the headline said, “To remake church power in Francis’ vision, synod calls for changes to canon law.”
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