Archbp. Chaput of @ArchPhilly on upcoming Synod’s working document. Concerns.

Not only is there a new document out which changed the way the Synod (“walking together”) of Bishops runs, but a substantive supplemental document with more details (needed because the new document left things out) hasn’t yet been issued. The clock is ticking.

Before a Synod of Bishop convenes, a preliminary “working document” for the Synod’s meeting is issued. It is called in Latin an Instrumentum Laboris.

It seems that the IL for this upcoming Synod (on Young People) is… sub-par.

Archbp. Charles Chaput of Philadelphia – whom Archbp. Viganò says was personally maligned by Francis when they met for the first time (“[T]he Bishops in the United States must not be ideologized, they must not be right-wing like the Archbishop of Philadelphia!”) – received a summation of the IL from a noted theologian.  It concerned him enough to offer it to a wider audience through First Things.

Chaput wrote:

Over the past several months, I’ve received scores of emails and letters from laypeople, clergy, theologians, and other scholars, young and old, with their thoughts regarding the October synod of bishops in Rome focused on young people. Nearly all note the importance of the subject matter. Nearly all praise the synod’s intent. And nearly all raise concerns of one sort or another about the synod’s timing and possible content. The critique below, received from a respected North American theologian, is one person’s analysis; others may disagree. But it is substantive enough to warrant much wider consideration and discussion as bishop-delegates prepare to engage the synod’s theme. Thus, I offer it here:

If you are interested in the Synod (I think you should be), you should go to First Things and read the whole thing.  Sample:

The IL upends the respective roles of the ecclesia docens and the ecclesia discens. The entire document is premised on the belief that the principal role of the magisterial Church is “listening.” Most problematic is §140: “The Church will have to opt for dialogue as her style and method, fostering an awareness of the existence of bonds and connections in a complex reality. . . . No vocation, especially within the Church, can be placed outside this outgoing dynamism of dialogue . . . . [emphasis added].” In other words, the Church does not possess the truth but must take its place alongside other voices. Those who have held the role of teacher and preacher in the Church must replace their authority with dialogue. (In this regard, see also §67-70).

There were serious problems with the Final Report – and the procedure surrounding it – from the last Synod.  There were serious problems with the procedure of both the Synods on the Family.

Do you suppose, after the rigging of the last Synod, Zuhlio will have more to say about the Synod and present state of affairs?

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  1. Hidden One says:

    I don’t mind a Magisterium that listens as long as it’s also one that corrects what it hears.

  2. Bthompson says:

    Having failed to make women into priests, they have decided to make priests into women.

  3. defenderofTruth says:

    I wonder if the middle and final documents have also been written…

  4. Sawyer says:

    Chaput is a wise and holy archbishop. He knows he’ll never get the red hat from Francis. Maybe this is his way of saying, “Screw it.” The bishops are slowly dividing into two camps. What Chaput published is mild resistance to the Francis agenda, entirely defensible as objective criticism of the synod’s IL, but it is noteworthy public resistance.

  5. JesusFreak84 says:

    defenderofTruth, we sadly already know the answer to THAT question…

  6. richdel says:

    If the provenance of the documents related to this synod are anything like that of the documents associated with the synod on the family, I am hoping and praying that bishops are going to have the courage to call it as it is by calling out the organizers of this synod for using them as pawns in an artificial display of collegiality when the outcome of this synod is already being drafted in the form of documents purporting as resulting from the synod itself. Perhaps they can even call into question the legitimacy of the such documents insofar as they claim to proceed from the “collegiate character and aspect of the episcopal order” (Lumen Gentium 22) but clearly don’t. The pope has the authority to make declarations respective to his own authority, but don’t treat us all like fools by pretending that such documents as this will have proceeded from the collegial body of the synod when they are in truth primarily authored by a handful of theologians who will not even have participated in the synod itself.

  7. excalibur says:

    Cardinal: Pope is ‘ice cold, sly Machiavellian, and, what is worse – he lies’

  8. scotus says:

    I particularly liked this contribution from the theologian:
    “This naturalism is also evidenced in the document’s preoccupation with the following considerations: globalization (§10); advocating for the Church’s role in creating “responsible citizens” rather than saints (§147)”
    Recently in a town not far from me some Religious Sisters organised an event for young people.
    From the report about it in a Catholic newspaper:
    Part of the three to five year programme, the aim of the youth camp is to allow the young people to reach their potential, and to encourage them to want to build a better future for themselves and their peers.
    “It’s all about building the young people up into becoming better people, bringing out their best qualities and teaching them that not everyone is the same,”
    Sounds just like what the theologian was talking about.

  9. Pingback: ZUHLIO RETURNS! On the Synod and “Send In The Saints” | Fr. Z's Blog

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