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New Synod, Old Fears
In 2015, my wife, Kristina, and I were able to attend the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. The generosity of others allowed us to go: my job let me take time off work, grandparents watched our kids, and a host family took us in for the week. It was an incredible event.
I was scrolling through Facebook Memories this morning and was reminded of a very particular incident during the conference that really stuck with me. Kristina and I were on the street outside the conference center headed to lunch and these guys approached us asking us to sign a petition. They weren’t Knights of Columbus, but there were dressed in some kind of fancy regalia. And they told wanted to us to sign a letter urging Pope Francis to be faithful to the Church during the ongoing Synod of the Family. I remember the guy saying something that Cardinal Burke had signed this petition.
This was 6 years before I started Pope Francis Generation and 2.5 years before I helped start Where Peter Is. At the time, I still really liked and respected Cardinal Burke. I didn’t know, and didn’t care to know, anything about Church politics. But this kind of fear driven politicking against the pope really bothered me.
The process may be messy, some of the players may have ulterior agendas, and some of the bishops may be truly horrible leaders and teachers, but the Holy Spirit guides and protects the results. That was the case with the Synod on the Family, it will be the case of the Synod on Synodality, and it will be the case for every synod and council in the future.