lunes, 12 de octubre de 2015

Fr. Federico Lombardi: “If I understand the process right. . . .”

The Devil in the Details

by Robert Royal

Robert Royal reports on the end of the first week of the 2015 Synod. Much talk about procedure, about which even the Vatican seems confused.

At Saturday’s press briefing, Fr. Federico Lombardi, the main spokesman at the Vatican Press Office, made what has to be one of the most surprising admissions to date at the 2015 Synod. Asked about the procedures by which the various modi (modifications) to the Working Document would be handled, he replied, “If I understand the process right. . . .”

It’s no small thing when the Vatican’s own spokesman confesses that he’s not quite sure himself that he understands how the whole thing is being conducted.

Questions have been multiplying about the seeming chaos of the new parliamentary rules intended to guide the Synod’s proceedings. Some see the disorder as planned and sinister – a way to rig the whole process and to force changes through undetected loopholes. Others – including several reliable sources directly involved in the day-to-day proceedings – are inclined to believe it’s more a matter of sheer incompetence. A combination of the two, of course, should not be excluded. But the preponderance of the evidence seems to point, mostly, in the direction of more than ordinary human bumbling.

Questions about procedure may not seem all that sexy compared with the usual controversies about gays and Communion for the divorced. Other subjects have been raised that I, for one, think have not received nearly enough attention in the secular or religious press. For example, the Francophone elements in the Synod have, several times, said that the bishops themselves should do an “examination of conscience” about the ways in which they have failed to convey Catholic doctrine to their people.

Such unusual and possibly fruitful topics may emerge more fully as time passes. But the way things are done will also play a large role in what the Church ultimately gets from this Synod. Fr. Lombardi made his profession of uncertainty about two things that will loom large in creating the final document – oh, and by the way, he said he wasn’t certain whether there would even be a final document, though the President of the Synod, Cardinal Baldisseri, said there would be, only at the beginning of last week.

Read the rest of Dr. Royal’s column by clicking here . . .

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