Press for the Pillar’s summary and analysis:
Two central figures in the global synodal process released a lengthy letter to the world’s bishops Monday.
What’s the context? Concerns about the bishops’ role in the process were reportedly aired in August during the consistory of cardinals in Rome.
Reservations were expressed again in October when synod organizers unveiled the “Document for the Continental Stage” (DCS), a text intended to guide deliberations during the continental phase.
In a blistering article written shortly before his death, Cardinal George Pelldescribed the Synodal Process as a “toxic nightmare” and the DCS as “one of the most incoherent documents ever sent out from Rome.” Former Vatican doctrinal chief Cardinal Gerhard Müller, meanwhile, described the initiative as a “democratization, a de facto Protestantization.”
Prominent supporters of the process have suggested that the international synods in 2023 and 2024 will be the forum for watershed debates on issues such as women priests.
What’s next The cardinals’ letter to bishops is an effort to address and allay doubts about their role in the Synodal Process and the initiative’s agenda.
Synod organizers will be looking to see whether the intervention dims the tide of criticism. They will have a glimpse of an answer at the continental assemblies and a firmer idea when the bishops descend on Rome in October.
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