I have had a number of people ask me for some comments on this piece that appeared in the National Catholic Register. I am working on a significant article that examines the waves of disunity and strife that are now being felt throughout the Church and throughout Christendom. As usual when I write something that is a little complicated, it takes longer than what I ever expect. (Actually, it is easy to write a long, complicated piece: what is hard is to take complicated issues and analyze them with clarity and direct simplicity. I prefer the latter approach, but let me tell you, it takes a while to put together a good short piece!) I do expect I will have it up later tonight.
Meantime, as you look to the synod currently taking place, there are a couple of pieces that I think are worthy of serious consideration in contemplation of the direction of the Church. I think everyone senses that somehow, this is a seminal moment, without fully knowing why. The first steady piece is by Fr. Mark A. Pilon in the Catholic Thing. He discusses what he calls the “Francis Problem.”
The next piece, by Kevin Tierney in the Catholic Exchange somewhat understates, I think, the importance of this synod, but it throws a much needed dash of cold water on the overblown expectations on the scope of what the synod can do, either to reform the marriage tribunal or to undermine the teaching of the Magisterium. I think it far more important in terms of the trajectory of the hierarchy then he does, but I think it is a lot closer to reality than what most commenters and observers are doing. This is NOT our journey on the matter; it is just the meeting to lay out a route going forward. Whether its conclusions match or confound any of our desires, there is a lot more that must happen beyond this synod before whatever it recommends becomes the teaching of the Church.