Trying to follow the ‘secret’ Synod through Vatican press releases is not too easy but it strikes me that those Bishops from failing Churches want change or rupture, those Bishops from strong vigorous Churches want continuity.
Could it perhaps be that the Bishops themselves are the fault, and rather like young students of the 1970s many of them once were they are blaming the ‘system’ rather than themselves for their failure to teach the faith.
I wonder how many of these synod fathers have ever experienced the need for redemption, to know what it is like to be a sinner who is enslaved by sin and who out of utter need and poverty cries out to God and experiences His mercy and forgiveness? Maybe they have always been kind of good in their own eyes?
Because this kind of leniency masquerading as mercy speaks to me of a kind of comfort in one’s human condition, the kind of mindset that I hear all the time from non-believers “I’m a good person!” It speaks of a mindset that is casual about God and about holiness, that has no awe, or dread or holy fear.
I tremble for their sake. Because God’s mercy is severe and from those to whom much is given, much is expected.
It’s not only a failure to teach the faith. It seems like a failure to have it in the first place in a way that transforms their lives and makes it contagious.
I also wonder, too, about Catholics who grow up in a Catholic milieu and who experience the vast freedom of their inheritance, without realizing it is built upon grace, upon grace, upon grace. They are on this vast plain and then begin to experiment with this or that, not realizing they are veering towards a precipice and once you have fallen off, it it is impossible to get back on to that plain of freedom without the Cross, without experiencing suffering and the severe mercy of God.