Archbishop Dew describes battles at synod on family

On his daily blog from the synod on the family, Archbishop John Dew has painted a picture of sharp divisions among synod members.

On his October 15 posting from Rome, Archbishop Dew noted that there had been vigorous arguments in the small group discussions taking place this week.

“The arguments are very strong as to whether this should be about doctrine and truth, or about mercy and compassion for those who struggle or for whom life is difficult,” he said.

But the Archbishop of Wellington stated that doctrine is not being done away with.

“We are saying that the Church needs to be warm and welcoming – showing the mercy and kindness of Jesus.”

Archbishop Dew also noted another bishop referring to the parable of the wheat and the weeds and  saying that we need to admit we are all in this together.

“Sometimes we are the wheat and sometimes we are the weeds, but whatever happens, life will be full of both,” Archbishop Dew said.

He also observed that some synod members only want to use scripture passages that support their own arguments.

In his October 16 posting, Archbishop Dew mentioned media portrayals of the competing factions at the synod, and admitted there is some truth in these.

“[But] it seems to me the majority [at the synod] are very aware of the need for the Church to reach out in new ways to many who do struggle,” he wrote.

“I am sure that the mission of Pope Francis – even though some don’t like it – is to make the Church a place of love and welcome, a community where people know they are accepted and cared for.”

Archbishop Dew was sure this would come through when the small group discussions were to be reported back.

The blog is being updated daily with Archbishop Dew’s postings on the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference website.


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