It would be hard to argue with what Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich says in this paper, from a cursory reading. The words are smooth as silk and I can see why people find them attractive.
First,I want to talk about the transformation that comes in trusting that Christ is truly risen. It’s a trust that goes beyond believe that Christ rose from the dead two thousand years ago. This is a trust that requires a real conversion on our part [Yes, Amen! I am with you totally up to this point] and that is why we need to pay attention to the signs of the times. [?????!!!!!]
The second level of transformation of bishops is about trusting with greater fervor that the risen Christ is active precisely in the ministry of the Church, in our ministry as bishops. It’s about trusting in our ministry as the place where Christ is always doing something new and not being afraid when he calls us to that newness..
Finally, there is a transformation that comes in trusting more humbly that Christ the risen one is at work and revealing his presence in the lives of those we serve. As a result, it means trusting that the people we serve have something of great value to say to us about Christ’s will.
The only thing that jumps out at me as highly problematic is this: the emphasis on paying attention to the signs of the times.
Would you listen to me, Your Grace, as a new Catholic? I ask you to please be leery of paying more attention to “the signs of the times” than to Scripture and Tradition. I ask you to please read the signs of the times in light of Revelation and Tradition and not Revelation and Tradition in light of the signs of the times.
Otherwise, how do you know the Risen Jesus you are following is the real one, and not a construct of group think and the path of least resistance?
Yes, Christ makes all things new. But would the Risen Christ contradict Himself on marriage when He so clearly spoke this it is indissoluble? Would the Holy Spirit contradict Himself in the words of Saint Paul about worthy reception of the Holy Eucharist? Will a synodal Church mean doctrine is decided by democracy and that the teachings of one Pope can overthrow those of a previous Pope?
I trust the Risen Jesus.
But I read the signs of the times differently, as a full of warnings of the Judgment to come. Christ’s love is merciful, yes, but we must not presume upon Him or assume He is lenient. He is not.