Perhaps There Is ONE Revolution Going On in the Church
Sorry I have't blogged in a little bit.
I apologize for that trite apology for not having blogged.
(How very Canadian of me!)
But this Synod14 has been keeping me glued to social media and the blogs.
Before this Synod happened, I was trying not to worry about it. And I'm ultimately NOT that worried, in the very long term (spoiler: God wins in the end). But like many Catholics, I was quite taken aback by some of the tendencies emerging in the relatio.
So I've been reading the #Synod14 hashtag, commenting on it, and some of my stuff has been retweeted. I even tweeted to Cardinal Napier my concerns about the Relatio, how it's being misinterpreted and manipulated, and how need absolute doctrinal clarity.
I've also conveyed my concerns to Msgr. Paul-Andre Durocher, the Canadian delegate to this synod.
I in no way wish to overstate my influence on Catholic matters, but I feel my little voice contributed to the chorus of rejection of this Relatio.
Cardinal Napier and Msgr. Durocher wouldn't know me from Adam.
But what they do know is that lay people have had strong enough reactions to impart their views to them.
I don't recall a single Vatican event that has been so intensely scrutinized or which has engendered so much immediate reaction.
I feel like us "normal" Catholics here at the bottom of the pyramid are having some kind of impact on the Vatican.
For decades, it's felt like I have absolutely zero impact on Church affairs.
But in the age of blogs, social media and instaneous reaction and connection, I finally feel like somebody is listening and that I can make a difference.
Now some might scoff at the idea that faithful Catholics have any kind of impact, considering the text of the Relatio. But think back 20 years ago before social media. This document might have been published and (if anyone had paid attention to it) it would have been passed off as Vatican fiat and us laity had nothing to say about it.
We were expected to take that crap.
Now, if something comes out the Vatican, and it's not up to snuff, the laity can do something about it. The Holy Press Office had the wisdom of creating a hashtag for this synod (#Synod14) and so anybody who wants to comment or pass on a story can do so.
There's also tons of commentary, and it's aggregated on sites like BigPulpit, Pewsitter and NewAdvent.org
I don't believe the laity have ever had a hand in formulating a Vatican document -- ever-- the way they are having an impact today.
The folks at the top understand that their next document has to do better. They know that if they don't communicate the correct message, there's going to be a lot of blowback and the faithful aren't going to take too well.
And while the faithful are not bishops, in this day and age, the faithful are very much the transmitters of Catholic doctrine and ideas-- in an age when many clergy shirk from stating Catholic doctrine plainly.
So it's a bad idea to tick them off. You want the bishops and the engaged lay people on the same page.
I suspect that a lot of bishops would have been upset at the Relatio regardless of lay reaction, but perhaps their opposition might have been less strong. When laity put things in plain language, instead of the politicalese that some clergy use, that strengthens them in their resolve. The truth is made clear.
Maybe this Synod might not be so bad after all.