Synod in Rome

As the month progresses and the Synod continues in Rome, there seems to be very little coming through from it and maybe the journalists have adopted the words of Pope Francis to their work and are being very circumspect in relation to what they will print. I know there have been some articles published — I have to admit that I have yet to read any of them — but what I do know is that this Synod is unlike others because it is dealing with round-table discussions and at the end of the period of time set aside this October the deliberations of those who took part will be gathered and shared with the Universal Church and just as we had the opportunity to fill in a questionnaire a couple of years ago about how we looked at the Church in the 21st Century, so too will the discussions reach the local level in the Irish church and within the next eleven months there will be chances to look at what has come to the fore and discuss the details of what is deemed important and what is considered not so important in the life and the identity of the Church. I have been asked how do we know what the Spirit is saying to us? How do we know that the Spirit is guiding us? A good pointer for us is that anything that is introduced should have a scriptural foundation. Without that or contrary to it is more than likely off the mark. For example, in past discussions I have had people try to argue for something that was not right and they said sure Jesus will forgive you, and they might refer to the place in the Gospel where the ‘woman caught in adultery’ is about to be stoned and it ends up with Jesus saying ‘your sins are forgiven you.’ The difficulty, though, with that quote is. that it is incomplete — yes, he forgives her, but he adds ‘and go, sin no more.’ After the eleven or so months, the delegates will meet again next October and take into account what has been worked on around the world before anything is decided, discarded or not dealt with at all. (Fr. John)