PopeWatch: Synod on Youth

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Well, as Edward Pentin describes it, the Synod on Youth is off to a disastrous start:


The nearly month long Vatican synod for young people got underway Oct. 3, with Pope Francis calling on the synod fathers to have an attitude of “listening” to young people, to reject “prejudice and stereotypes” and to welcome and understand today’s youth by being willing to “change our convictions and positions.”

In his discourse at the first general congregation of the synod — the theme of which is “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment” — the Pope stressed the importance of young people making the effort to “swim against the tide” and to strive for “lofty values” of “family, fidelity, love, faith, sacrifice, service, eternal life.”

“It truly is worth the effort. It is not a waste of time,” he said. “Your participation fills us with joy and hope.” Thirty-six young people will be among the 49 auditors taking part in the synod, which continues through Oct. 28, offering contributions but without a vote.

Turning to the synod fathers, Francis called the synod a “moment of sharing,” and, as during the previous synod on the family, he invited all participants to speak with parrhesia (courage and frankness), adding that only dialogue “can help us grow.” An honest, transparent critique is “constructive and helpful,” he said, and does not engage in “useless chatter, rumors, conjectures or prejudices.”

Reminding the synod fathers of his comments at the pre-synod meeting, the Pope said “everyone has the right to be heard, just as everyone has the right to speak.” Listening, he said, “creates space for dialogue,” and the “first fruit” of this dialogue is that all are “open to newness, to change their opinions.”

Speaking to reporters Oct. 1, the synod’s general relator, Cardinal Sergio da Rocha, said the synod’s working document stressed the importance of an “open and welcoming attitude” and the need to accompany people to have “the fullness of life” by knowing the reality of their lives and allowing oneself to be “challenged” by the “complex issues” they face related to “affectivity and sexuality.”

Go here to read the rest.  I wonder if Pope Francis has decided to attempt to make the Church his funeral pyre.

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  1. The literal meaning of parrhesia (παρρησία (from πᾶν “all” and ῥῆσις “utterance, speech”) meaning literally “to speak everything.”

    As Michel Foucault points out, “First, there is a pejorative sense of the word not very far from “chattering” and which consists in saying any or everything one has in mind without qualification. This pejorative sense occurs in Plato, for example, as a characterization of the bad democratic constitution where everyone has the right to address himself to his fellow citizens and to tell them anything — even the most stupid or dangerous things for the city. This pejorative meaning is also found more frequently in Christian literature where such “bad” parrhesia is opposed to silence as a discipline or as the requisite condition for the contemplation of God. As a verbal activity which reflects every movement of the heart and mind, parrhesia in this negative sense is obviously an obstacle to the contemplation of God.” St John Chrysostom uses it a lot.

    I am surprised at the Holy Father using a term with so much negative baggage.

  2. Yup, MP-S, that “chattering” word fits perfectly to what I instantly thought as I read. A voice in my head kept repeating the word, “babble.”
    He also said, I believe, that the Church must be ready to listen and “change our convictions and positions.” Nothing like their mission to hold firm to the faith as handed down by the apostles, and teach the truth of God with authority. And so “relativism” continues to have hold on us.

  3. Parrhesia is the term he defined and used in Gaudete et Exsultate at 132 &foll. Probably why he use the word again here.

  4. I’m going to be praying for a Pope who will allocate his time as follows:

    1. Prayer and the Mass
    2. With the assistance of a few trusted aides, scrutinizing every candidate for the episcopacy and every candidate for every necessary office in the Vatican
    3. Reducing headcount in the Holy See and drafting plans for the consolidation of seminaries and houses of formation.
    4. Composing and issuing encyclicals and other documents which clean up the messes made by Francis (and any by Paul or John Paul as well).
    5. Traveling the Diocese of Rome and preaching at churches therein.
    6. Ecclesiastical discipline – removal of the worst of the local ordinaries.
    7. Working to repair the Holy See’s audit and control apparat and treasury apparat. We’ve been hearing disconcerting stories for too long.
    8. Nothing else. I think we’d benefit if what a RadTrad priest told me was once the rule: “The Pope’s not supposed to say too much”. John Paul devoted large blocs of time to traveling, learning languages, producing poetry and philosophy, and canonization efforts. Nothing wrong with that, bar that other things were neglected. As for the current Pope, the Church would be better off if he were completely aphasic.

  5. “the fullness of life” by knowing the reality of their lives and allowing oneself to be “challenged” by the “complex issues” they face related to “affectivity and sexuality.”
    Jesus Christ is the center of holiness. They are not “the reality of their lives”

  6. “Change our convictions and positions,” in the hope of listening to the youth of today.

    For some in the Vatican I would welcome them to change their convictions and positions.
    Start with Pope Francis.
    He could change his position on remaining silent in the face of recent allegations.
    He could change his convictions on going against two thousand years of church teaching relating to the reception of Holy Communion to unrepentant person’s living in grave sin.
    “Let your conscience guide you.”

    What a beautiful testimony he could give to the youth by being able to live out his own words that he professes.

    Others in the Vatican that need to change their positions? How about the Lavender Mafia?
    They should be convicted of subverting the Holy Church. Convicted and punished.

    What will the youth suggest?
    Women priesthood?
    Homosexual married priesthood?
    Green theology?
    Worship of Gaia?

    I’m praying these children have had good parental leadership, love and religious education. Maybe their influence on the Vatican will help bring some orthodoxy back to Rome.

  7. “I’m praying these children have had good parental leadership, love and religious education.”

    Nope. They wouldn’t be there if they had that. Would you send your children there? I wouldn’t.

  8. Upon further reading the synod is most likely rigged by Francis and his like:
    “Although the final document will be voted on and passed only with a two-thirds majority, the synod organizers were unwilling to confirm if the document will consist of propositions with each paragraph requiring two-thirds approval, as in previous synods. Critics say an absence of such a vote limits debate and could allow controversial proposals to pass, such as acceptance of loaded terminology used by the homosexual lobby. In a letter to Pope Francis at the previous synod on the family in 2015, 13 cardinals successfully protested against removing the vote on propositions on similar grounds.”
    “the synod working document, published in June. In a Sept. 29 article in the Italian newspaper Il Foglio, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia said he believed it needed to be “reviewed and revised,” because, “as it stands, the text is strong in the social sciences, but much less so in its call to belief, conversion and mission.”
    “Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary-general of the Synod of Bishops, criticized the comments, saying such reservations could have been made earlier (Archbishop Chaput is on the Ordinary Council of the Synod of Bishops) and adding that it did not show “loyalty and honesty.”

  9. Whatever come out of the synod ,how the laity is to believed anything they decide. In no way i’m going to accept as truth about homosexuality.It is repulsif, unnatural and an offense to God having same sex union.It has no place in the catholic teaching of the Gospel.

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