Perhaps Pope Francis has given us a clue—it’s not a parliament. Thus what is it?
I know many Catholics who don’t accept many moral teachings of the Church. They don’t agree that sex outside of marriage is immoral; they don’t believe marriage is for one man and one women and for a lifetime and for pro-creation and they don’t believe that artificial contraception or abortion are wrong.
Is the God of surprises going to change Scripture, Tradition and natural law by synodal agreement? Is the Deposit of Faith up for discussion and change by consultation widely accomplished?
I always thought the challenge for priests is to help Catholics who waffle on Church teaching or don’t agree with it to at least know the logic behind it and the reasons why God has established these teachings.
One of the things that has helped me (and this is so pre-Vatican II) is that we are all called to the perfection of heaven. This call to perfection begins in this earthly pilgrimage and with Holy Baptism and the Sacramental life of the Church immersed in the Deposit of Faith.
Will any of us reach perfection in this life and is the quest for it meant to make us neurotic and guilt ridden? NO! But embraced by Christ through the Sacraments He instituted and the Church He founded, He makes a way for us by which He makes us perfect at our death, personal judgement/purification and then the experience of the fullness of heaven where we will be perfect once for all by God’s grace.
Thus consulting widely with people, be they Christian or not, what will it accomplish? What is the goal? Does anyone know? I earnestly ask that because I am clueless quite frankly!
This pope is elevating pastoral theology to a doctrine. Pastoral theology is personal and often within the context of sacramental confession or spiritual direction. It isn’t a one size fits all and often is confidential and under the seal of confession.
For example, if a promiscuous homosexual finds a partner he or she truly loves and enables a sort of “marital chastity” a pastoral response to that within a spiritual counseling session might endorse this lifestyle over a promiscuous one. And to establish secular benefits a civil union aka marriage might be endorsed. All of this for a greater good but still falling short of the perfection of celibate chastity to which this couple is still called.
Might Pope Francis’ pastoral doctrine lead to some sort of public acknowledgment of this such as same sex blessings? Sinners of course have always been blessed and I just did it at Mass on Sunday at the final blessing and dismissal which occurs at every Catholic Mass although in the EF it is the dismissal and final blessing. But in blessing the sinner, the sin is not blessed be it venial or mortal—will that change?
The pope has said it is not a parliament. But he continually freaks out over rigid people especially those who prefer the Ancient Order of the Mass along with the certitude of the pre-Vatican II Church along with its “triumphalism” of proclaiming the Catholic Church as the True Church and the sole means of communicating and establishing Christ’s salvation for everyone in the world.
Is there another way and will the synod establish it?