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Pope Francis: The Driving Force of his Pontificate

Referring to the Synod for the Amazon, regarding the priestly ordination of viri probati, Francis wrote: “There was a discussion… a rich discussion… a well-founded discussion, but no discernment, which is something different from arriving at a good and justified consensus or relative majority.” He continued: “We must understand that the Synod is more than a   parliament; and in this specific case it could not escape this dynamic. On this subject it has been a rich, productive and even necessary parliament; but no more than that. For me this was decisive in the final discernment, when I thought about how to shape the exhortation.”

It is not a question here of resolving the question between who is right and who is wrong, let alone whether or not the pope agrees with the theme of the priestly ordination of viri probati. Here the question arises of how a decision is made, the forma mentis and the need for discernment that is truly free.

So, “one of the riches and originality of synodal pedagogy lies precisely in leaving aside parliamentary logic to learn to listen, in community, to what the Spirit says to the Church; for this reason I always propose to remain silent after a certain number of interventions. To walk together means to dedicate time to honest listening, capable of making us reveal and unmask (or at least to be sincere) the apparent purity of our positions and to help us discern the wheat that – until the Parousia – always grows in the midst of weeds. Those who have not understood this evangelical vision of reality expose themselves to unnecessary bitterness. Sincere and prayerful listening shows us the ‘hidden agendas’ called to conversion. What sense would the synodal assembly have if it were not to listen together to what the Spirit is saying to the Church?”

The note concludes as follows: “I like to think that, in a certain sense, the Synod is not finished. This time of welcoming the whole process that we have lived through challenges us to continue to walk together and to put this experience into practice.”

Source: La Civiltà Cattolica

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