Pope Francis wants a transformation of the papacy and a synodal Church

Francis-Synod-speech-50th-annivFrom Father Z:

Since the beginning of the pontificate of Pope Francis – or could we coin a new phrase? The “periphery of Pope Francis”? – I have been saying that his aim is to weaken the Roman Curia.

HERE and HERE and HERE are examples.

Today Francis addressed members of the Synod, et al., on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Synod of Bishops.

I think this speech (HERE) may be a turning point of some kind.  I don’t know what kind, yet.

Clearly, the Pope wants a more “Synodal Church”.  He says that this has been his intention from the beginning of his pontificate… periphery. He said (my translations):

Fin dall’inizio del mio ministero come Vescovo di Roma ho inteso valorizzare il Sinodo, che costituisce una delle eredità più preziose dell’ultima assise conciliare.

From the beginning of my ministry as Bishop of Rome I intended to enhance the Synod, which constitutes one of the most precious legacies of the last conciliar assembly (i.e. Vatican II).

He goes on with comments about sensus fidei that I am going to have to parse with patience.   Including:

Il sensus fidei impedisce di separare rigidamente tra Ecclesia docens ed Ecclesia discens, giacché anche il Gregge possiede un proprio “fiuto” per discernere le nuove strade che il Signore dischiude alla Chiesa.

È stata questa convinzione a guidarmi quando ho auspicato che il Popolo di Dio venisse consultato nella preparazione del duplice appuntamento sinodale sulla famiglia, come si fa e si è fatto di solito con ogni“Lineamenta”. Certamente, una consultazione del genere in nessun modo potrebbe bastare per ascoltare il sensus fidei.

The sensus fidei prevents a rigid separation between the Teaching Church and the Learning Church, since even the possesses its knack (sense of smell, sniffing out ability- fiuto) to discern the new paths that the Lord is opening up to the Church.

It was this conviction that guided me when I prayed that the People of God would be consulted in the preparation of the twin synodal meeting on the family, as is and was usually done with every “Lineamenta” (guiding document). Certainly, a consultation of this kind would in no way be enough to hear the sensus fidei.

The tricky thing about sensus fidei or more precisely sensus fidei fidelium is that you have to be faithfulto have it.  Anyway, he goes on for a bit about sensus fidei.

Then he moves into his own role as successor of Peter… as “Bishop of Rome”.

He moves then into his thought about how synodality is a constitutive element of the Church.  To wit:

La sinodalità, come dimensione costitutiva della Chiesa, ci offre la cornice interpretativa più adeguata per comprendere lo stesso ministero gerarchico. Se capiamo che, come dice San Giovanni Crisostomo, «Chiesa e Sinodo sono sinonimi»….

Synodality, as a constitutive dimension of the Church, offers us the more fitting interpretive framework to understand the same hierarchical ministry. [He was speaking of it earlier on.] If we understand what St. John Chrysostom said, “Church and Synod are synonymous,”….

I might add here what another great Eastern Church Father said, St. Gregory Nazianzus in ep. 131:

“If I ought to write the truth, I am of the mind that I ought to flee all meetings of bishops, because I have never seen any happy or satisfactory outcome to any council, nor one that has deterred evils more than it has occasioned their acceptance and growth.”

But I digress.

He goes on about levels of synodality… local, regional, etc.

The real fireworks start here:

Il secondo livello è quello delle Province e delle Regioni Ecclesiastiche, dei Concili Particolari e in modo speciale delle Conferenze Episcopali. Dobbiamo riflettere per realizzare ancor più, attraverso questi organismi, le istanze intermedie della collegialità, magari integrando e aggiornando alcuni aspetti dell’antico ordinamento ecclesiastico. L’auspicio del Concilio che tali organismi possano contribuire ad accrescere lo spirito della collegialità episcopale non si è ancora pienamente realizzato. Siamo a metà cammino, a parte del cammino. In una Chiesa sinodale, come ho già affermato, «non è opportuno che il Papa sostituisca gli Episcopati locali nel discernimento di tutte le problematiche che si prospettano nei loro territori. In questo senso, avverto la necessità di procedere in una salutare “decentralizzazione”».

The second level is that of Provinces and Ecclesiastical Regions, of Particular (local?) Councils and, in a special way, Episcopal Conferences. We must reflect in order to bring about even more, through these bodies, the intermediate applications of collegiality, even by integrating and updating some aspects of ancient ecclesiastical ordering. The wish of the Council that such organisms would help contribute to the increase of the spirit of episcopal collegiality has not yet been fully realized. As I have asserted, in a Synodal Church “it is not opportune that the Pope replace the local Episcopates in the discernment of all the problems that present themselves in their territories. In this sense, I feel the necessity to proceed in a healthy “decentralization.”

He intends to weaken, if not gut, the Roman Curia.  That means devolving to regional conferences and perhaps even individual bishops some of the briefs of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia.

He then goes on about the Petrine ministry in a Synodal Church and repeats the phrase “una conversione del papato … a conversion (in the sense of “transformation”) of the papacy”.

Finally… the peroration…

Il nostro sguardo si allarga anche all’umanità. Una Chiesa sinodale è come vessillo innalzato tra le nazioni (cfr. Is11, 12) in un mondo che -pur invocando partecipazione, solidarietà e trasparenza nell’amministrazione della cosa pubblica- consegna spesso il destino di intere popolazioni nelle mani avide di ristretti gruppi di potere. Come Chiesa che “cammina insieme” agli uomini, partecipe dei travagli della storia, coltiviamo il sogno che la riscoperta della dignità inviolabile dei popoli e della funzione di servizio dell’autorità potranno aiutare anche la società civile a edificarsi nella giustizia e nella fraternità, generando un mondo più bello e più degno dell’uomo per le generazioni che verranno dopo di noi.

Our gaze extends also to humanity. A synodal church is like a banner raised among the nations (cf Isaiah 11:12) in a world which, even though invoking participation, solidarity and transparency in the administration of the public good, often consigns the destiny of entire populations into the greedy hands of restricted groups of the powerful. As a Church that “walks together” with men, participates in the travails of history, let us cultivate the dream that the rediscovery of the inviolable dignity of peoples and the exercise of service of authority will be able to help also civil society to be built upon justice and on fraternity, generating a more beautiful world, more worthy of mankind and for the generations that will come after us.

One hardly knows what to make of all this.  One thing I do know… watch liberals start up their conga dance line again.  We have no idea what this all means yet, but they will be insufferable.

Meanwhile, let us keep on our course of building up the Church through that indispensable path of renewal of our liturgical worship of God.  A hundred grand initiatives can be launched by Popes, Synods, Conferences, Congregations, Committees, etc., but nothing lasting or important will be achieved without a deep revitalization of our sacred liturgical worship of God.

Therefore, do not relent, do not be distracted, do not veer from your course especially of building in as many places as possible the offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass according to the traditional, extraordinary form of the Roman Rite as well as celebrations of Vespers and traditional devotions.

Moreover, deeply examine your conscience, discern where you have also failed to act and makes sacrifices when, where and how you should have, and

GO TO CONFESSION.

Raise your petitions to God with a clean heart and soul.

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