Today the Vatican announced that the pope had added Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier of South Africa to the group, along with Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne, Australia. Two days ago, Napier told a Vatican briefing that it “is not true” the entire synod stood behind the message delivered in Monday’s document.
One cardinal speaking on background today said that the Second Vatican Council in the mid-1960s, the Africans weren’t much involved in the discussion. Now, he said, they’ve come of age and are making sure their voice is heard.
In other words, the fault lines at the 2014 synod don’t just run left/right, but also north/south.
Each one of these twists probably deserves its own commentary, but for now here are three general observations.
First, tune in Saturday evening to see what happens with the final document the bishops are slated to vote on, paragraph by paragraph.
Given the divisions that have surfaced — which Francesco Miano, one of the laity in the synod, today phrased as a tension between truth and mercy — it’s virtually certain that some of the daring language from Monday’s interim report will be tweaked, more citations of Church teaching will be inserted, and a stronger focus on sin and the negative elements of certain relationships will emerge.
Didn’t Jesus say “Ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free”?
Is not that merciful?