A GIF Narrative of the Reactions from the Synod on the Family

A big, huge event just ended in Rome a couple days ago. At least, if you followed the American media you’d think it was huge, anyway.

The Synod on the Family, though significant enough in its ability to be a litmus test of where the world’s bishops stand on key issues, was never going to change Catholic doctrine, because that never been (and never will be) its purpose. It also wasn’t just something where bishops got together and talked about divorced or gay Catholics. Instead, it was about much more — You know, because the family is important because everyone comes from a family and if the family didn’t exist neither would the world or any of us.

The Synod was more or less an advisory meeting of bishops, gathered to help Pope Francis continue to guide the Church with how She cares for the family and all the mess that comes with it. But not everyone has the time to pore over news articles about documents and arguments and speeches, so here’s a quick rundown of what happened, the reactions, and where we go from here. Let the GIFs be your guide…

Pope Francis, wanting good input from lots of viewpoints, beckoned a group of bishops, priests, religious women and men, and laypeople from all over the world to the Eternal City. 

Patrick Stewart animated GIF

Then, presumably, Pope Francis stood up and was like…

Meetings started in early October, with the working purpose being, “The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world.” The goal would be coming up with an advisory document for Pope Francis, with which he would presumably produce a clear path for the Church in a teaching document — called a “post-synodal apostolic exhortation”.

Actual discussions between attendees weren’t open to the public, so all we had to go off of were reports from journalists and … sadly … armchair interpreters on Twitter of both an ultra-conservative and more left-leaning Catholic bent.

Save yourself some time. Here’s the gist of those tweets:

You're WrongRight on!

And for those who seem to have forgotten Christ’s words in Matthew 16:18, this was the consensus:

To which more level-headed folk, in full understanding that the Synod was most certainly NOT dismantling the Church, wished to be all…

But instead were more inclined to throw up their hands and be like…

Now, the Synod hath ended, and guess what?

Nothing’s changed! The bishops of the world are strongly in favor of what the Church teaches! And, most of all, we’re still here!

Pope Francis is a trustworthy leader, who, considering he’s made both sides uncomfortable for different reasons, seems to be doing his job right. You know who else did that? JESUS.

And so, I’d like to offer some words of advice to anyone (and everyone) losing their heads over all this business:

terminator animated GIF

The Holy Spirit is still in charge, and last time I checked, that wasn’t any of us. Let’s remind ourselves (ad nauseam) that God is God and we are not. That is all.

Oh, and one more thing:

Be Not Afraid
Source: thatcatholicjazz.com/


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How St. John Paul II Might Answer Cupich on Conscience

This post originally appears at Crisis Magazine. It has been shared with permission.

In September 1953, a group of 20-somethings and their young parish priest embarked on the first of what would be 26 annual kayaking trips into the wilderness near where they all lived and worked, taking time away from normal life to enjoy the water, the wilderness, and, most of all, a prayerful retreat with each other.

This group – Środowisko, as it was called – was the experiment of Karol Wojtyla, the Polish priest most of us know better as Pope St. John Paul II. Beginning out of his parish assignment as a student chaplain, John Paul built the group of young people slowly out of a common desire for community, growth, and free discussion (such opportunities were rare at the time in Communist-ruled Poland).

Two characteristics of the group that particularly stood out were the group’s interest in prayer — especially liturgical prayer — and John Paul’s emphasis on accompanying his friends as they navigated their young lives. The two desires collided in the sacrament of confession, where John Paul “didn’t impose,” one member recalled, “but he did demand” that decisions be made as wisely as possible.

John Paul’s emphasis on accompaniment as a pastoral practice, in order to enrich and form the consciences of his parishioners was because, as George Weigel wrote in his biography Witness to Hope, “this was the way a priest lived out his vocation to be an alter Christus, ‘another Christ.'”

Read the rest here…


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